Polymerase chain reaction is a core technique used in molecular and cell biology (not to mention many other fields).  Some folks who think like me and want lab equipment to be cheaper created a small company that does just that.  These makers call their machination OpenPCR.

OpenPCR is a $599 PCR machine that can handle 16 PCR tubes and supports Mac and PC for input/output.

This thing is slick as hell.  There is something I find extremely aesthetically pleasing about laser cut wood, arduino electronics and a devices capability.

Being a graduate student I do not have the cash to drop on OpenPCR so I can only discuss my concerns after reading about it.  I really only have two concerns device endurance and quality.

As for endurance, I am not too concerned.  Buying OpenPCR requires one to assemble/build the unit oneself.  This means the user of OpenPCR likely has a good grasp of how the thing works and should be proficient enough to do some simple repairs and replacements.

I do not know the ins and outs of PCR and I wonder how OpenPCR’s ability to evenly heat and cool samples compares to the industry equivalents.  I have used some real crappy machines and they still got the job done and so I am not too worried about OpenPCR.

I do wish there was some testimonials or data from experiments done with OpenPCR to compare to other machines.  This is a problem of the newness of OpenPCR and I look forward to hearing about people using it in the future.



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