Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR™) enables accurate, precise, and sensitive quantification of specific nucleic acid sequences. In addition to the standard detection of two targets using two different fluorophores, it is possible to increase the number of targets detected by varying parameters that affect PCR efficiency and end-point fluorescence. In this case, we describe a method to multiplex assays by varying the concentrations of primers and probes or the type of fluorophores used. This allows users to expand the number of simultaneously detected targets up to four. Increasing the number of potential targets per test is a significant improvement for ddPCR, dramatically augmenting the information output of each sample.
Genomic research will eventually uncover a complete picture of how our genetic information, acting in concert with our experiences, influences our behavior, our risk for disease, and our responsiveness to medical treatments. These are all subjects of great academic and personal interest, but what happens when they are connected to a question of legality? When considering whether an individual’s genetic inheritance can be blamed for criminal behavior, or how information on disease predisposition should be used, who is qualified to testify, and what kinds of knowledge are needed to make sound judicial decisions?
The Supreme Court of Illinois and its Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, in coordination with members of the Illinois Judicial Conference Committee on Education, appointed by the Supreme Court, are responsible for facilitating educational resources for Illinois judges, including those pertaining to sciences in the law. The Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois had the unique opportunity to work with the AOIC in offering a new seminar, “Genomics for(TM) Judges,” that was designed to prepare judges to grapple with legal questions involving DNA sequencing and analysis, as well as related technologies, in the courts today and in the future.
Google Glass is still in its infancy, however, the potential breakthroughs that it can offer in the fields of medicine and science are astounding.
Surgeons at the Ohio State University Medical Center are already using the device as a training and consulting tool while in the midst of surgery. Physician wearing Google Glass are able to transmit a live video feed to colleagues and medical students anywhere in the world. This is a true game changer in education as it gives students valuable exposure to live surgery in real-time from a surgeon’s point of view.
Aside from it’s communicational value, Google Glass has the potential to actually be used as an integral part of surgical practice. Physicians hope to be able to call up medical images or other important patient data during the course of surgery.
Now imagine combining Google Glass with procedures that incorporated fluorescently labeled dyes capable of differentiating cancerous tumors from benign growths or nerve from muscle. Surgeons such as Quyen Nguyen are already currently shining light onto labeled tumors and nerves to accomplish this goal (see Lighting up the operating room). With Google Glass, this procedure would become so much easier.
While medical applications sound very cool, what will be of most interest to our readers are the potential laboratory bench applications. How about using Google Glass for fluorescent imaging at the bench? Or calling up protocols while setting up an experiment? The possibilities are endless.
What applications can you imagine for Google Glass in your daily research?