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John Mackay

John is interested in using molecular diagnostics to solve industry issues – working on samples as diverse as wine, truffles, grapevine and human. He also consults on PCR and real-time PCR assay development as technical director for the company dnature.

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Articles by Mackay

Let's Get Melting

Let’s Get Melting

By John Mackay | June 16, 2010

What is HRM Analysis? It is now more than a decade since the introduction of melting analysis to characterize PCR products. Melting analysis following SYBR green-based real-time PCR has become a mainstay in research laboratories worldwide for applications such as gene expression because of it’s ease of design and cost-effectiveness (i.e. no need for expensive labeled probes).…

How To Get a Perfect Pellet After DNA/RNA Precipitation

By John Mackay | January 25, 2010

If you’re performing DNA/RNA precipitations, you will have read Suzanne’s excellent article on which alcohol to use for precipitating your precious samples (check out some useful info in the comments for that article as well). Its publication prompted the recall of a useful tip I learned from a post-doc many years ago,  one of those…

PCR vs qPCR Sensitivity

PCR vs qPCR Sensitivity

By John Mackay | October 14, 2009

One of the great features of PCR is its excellent sensitivity as we know. And many articles describe real-time qPCR as an added leap forward in that sensitivity – to the point where it has become a standard feature of a new assay description Indeed, I’m currently developing a new qPCR assay to replace a…

PCR Rescue: Making One Band From Many

By John Mackay | September 14, 2009

It’s the molecular biologist’s version of ‘I have good news. . and bad news’. The good news is that I amplified the DNA band of interest. The bad news is that I amplified these other bands as well! Oh, and this smear. What to do? Typically you might try and cut out the band of…

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