Real-Time PCR Rules for Use

Basic Rules for Using the Real-Time PCR Systems in the RCF:

  1. All users must attend an instrument training session prior to their first use. These systems are end-user instruments, and users will perform all aspects of the setup. 
  2. Reservations on the Yahoo Calendar are MANDATORY.  Reservations must be made in advance. Never put a plate in the instrument if you are not signed up to use it.  
  3. Include your full name and a reachable contact number on the Yahoo Calendar and on the sign in sheet next to the instrument you are signed up to use.  It is not sufficient to put Lab "X".
  4. Remember to refresh your browser if the Yahoo Calendar was left open.  If you do not refresh it, you may not see appointments that other users recently added, and this causes scheduling conflicts.
  5. Make sure that you use the instrument that you signed up for. If you are uncertain when you get to the Core, double-check on one of the PCs connected to the real-time PCR instruments. Again, remember to refresh the browser if the Yahoo Calendar was left open.
  6. Please be prompt and do your best to start your run on time. We understand that science is not exact and that delays do occur.  If you are late starting your run, you must notify everyone singed up immediately after you, or you must notify Core Facility staff.  Modify your appointment time on the calendar to reflect the delay.
  7. Reservations may be cancelled, but please be courteous to other users by canceling reservations as soon as possible and notifying Core Facility personnel. Failure to cancel an unused reservation will result in a minimum $25 charge even if you have an annual, unlimited account.
  8. Blocking off excessive amounts of time (i.e. all day or half of a day) and not fully using the time is not acceptable. You may reserve all three Bio-Rad instruments simultaneously for no longer than the time it takes to complete one run.  
  9. Users must sign the User’s Log next to the instrument when beginning a run. Please write legibly and include your first and last names, as well as your PI, Department and a reachable phone number.
  10. We recommend that you monitor the instrument for approximately 3 to 5 minutes after hitting the start run button (until you see the active status is "running"). Occasional errors may occur that can be corrected without any loss of data if caught early enough. If an error does occur, please notify Core Facility personnel immediately. If an error occurs after hours, please fill out one of the error incident report forms located to the left of the ABI 7900HT. It is often useful to use your phone to take a picture of any error messages present. 
  11. Please remove and discard your plates after the run. There is a Biohazard box located next to the FACS Calibur cytometer.
  12. If you are the last one signed up to use the instrument, please turn it off.
  13. DO NOT leave the instruments on over weekends or holidays, as this reduces the life span of our light sources.
  14. You are responsible for saving your data. We recommend saving all raw run files to a USB flash drive. There are shortcuts to the data folders on the desktops of each computer.  Do not save your data in folders other than those specified in training.
  15. The blocks on the ABI 7900HT Fast are interchangeable (96-well fast or 384-well standard). Users may not switch these blocks out. The type of block installed will be posted on the Yahoo Calendar and on the side of the instrument. Please notify Core Facility personnel in advance if the block needs to be changed. DO NOT wait until your plate is ready to be run on the instrument. You must notify us when you sign up (prior to preparing your samples). If you need to run on a holiday or weekend, contact us before 4:00 on the last working day prior to the holiday or weekend.  Keep in mind that we need an extra 10 minutes to change the blocks.


  • If you fail to follow the rules above, it may result in the loss of data and Core privileges.  
  • Keep in mind that it is not appropriate for you to stop someone's run without contacting Core Facility staff first. Our contact information is located outside the door of BRI F6-13 (the real-time PCr room).
  • The Core will do everything possible to accommodate your needs; however, we ask that you be respectful of other users.

For more information, download a copy of the RCF Real-Time PCR User Guide and Policies.

Download the Training Guide.