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A coming of age for digital PCR

This podcast is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

A coming of age for digital PCR

Recorded 26 June 2020


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Quantitative PCR (qPCR) is now a decades-old and established technique for quantifying DNA and RNA. But in recent years, a challenger has emerged in the form of digital PCR, which provides advantages in terms of sensitivity and ease of analysis.

In this interview with Dr. Jim Huggett from the University of Surrey and National Measurement Laboratory at LGC in the United Kingdom, we talk about the pros and cons of digital PCR and how it compares with both qPCR and next-gen sequencing as a research and discovery method.


For more information about Crystal Digital PCR™, please go to:


[Music: TimTaj/MelodyLoops; Podcast editing and production: Sean Sanders]

Speaker bios

Jim Huggett, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, Analytical Microbiology
University of Surrey and the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC
United Kingdom

Dr. Huggett completed his undergraduate degree in genetics at Liverpool University, followed by a Ph.D. at Cardiff University, where he studied the potential role of mechanically regulated genes in bone remodeling. Particularly interested in the application of advanced molecular methods to clinical scenarios, he moved to University College London in 2002 to take up a senior research fellow position before moving to LGC in 2009. At LGC, the United Kingdom’s designated national measurement institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement, he has led several molecular diagnostics, genomics, and nucleic acid research projects. This work focuses on high-accuracy measurement as well as strengthening the traceability of measurements that underpin legislation, regulation, and standardization. In 2016, while retaining a joint appointment with LGC, Dr. Huggett joined the University of Surrey, where his focus is on analytical microbiology and diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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