Friday, July 20, 2012

How to read your RNA QC results

High quality RNA is needed for further processing of your samples. When we receive RNA for gene expression, QPCR, or miRNA, all samples are "QC'd" first. QC stands for quality control. How we do this is first OD samples either through Ribogreen or Nanodrop. Then depending on the amount we either run the samples on the a nano or pico chip. Once we finish our QC, we usually send you the OD results and Bioanalyzer results. We often get questions about what good RNA results look like, thus we thought we would simplify the explanation in three short steps:

1). You will receive a document that looks similar to the one below. This is an actual user's results so all identifying characteristics, such as name, have been blocked out. Your sample's gel picture should show two distinct bands representing the 18S and 28S ribosomal RNAs.

2). Most importantly is the electropherogram that shows fluorescence of the two 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA peaks. High quality RNA has this profile.
3). Agilent also provides a calculated number called the RNA Integrity Number (RIN). Although it can be a good indication of high quality RNA, it is sometimes unreliable. We would never rely solely on this number to tell us about the RNA's quality.

The combination of these three entities helps to give us the full picture of RNA quality. Also every project is considered individually. If you have any questions please check the About the Core page for contact information.

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