It’s often the little things that matter most

Tea

Have you ever been so busy that you forgot to appreciate those little things – maybe enjoying a nice cup of tea on a sunny afternoon, or receiving a kind “thank you” from a colleague? These little things are actually quite important and shouldn’t be overlooked. It happens in research, too – sometimes we overlook little things that matter a lot to our results. Let’s consider one such example: miRNA research.

miRNA – small, but mighty

Although only 18–22 nucleotides long, miRNAs are essential for gene regulation. They are expressed in many different cell types and tissues and can function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, making them key players in both normal physiology as well as the development and progression of various cancers. To define their biological functions, it’s important to fully understand miRNA biogenesis and expression patterns. See how miRNA biogenesis works here.

Considering the little things in your miRNA work

When working with miRNA, it’s important to remember and consider a few little things at each workflow step – from sample collection and stabilization through the final analysis – because they have huge impacts on the experimental outcome. The figure below shows an example miRNA analysis workflow using qPCR or NGS. The factors to consider for each workflow step are listed, along with how they influence your results.

miRNA graphic

To help you consider all the little things and to make sure you get the most from your samples, we have prepared three on-demand webinars covering the best practices for sample handling, isolation, miRNAseq library construction and data analysis for a range of sample types – including those with special requirements. In these webinars, we also discuss the advantages of using locked nucleic acid (LNA) technology for successful miRNA detection by qPCR.

The following on-demand webinars and webinar slide decks are available.

Webinar 1: Advancing miRNA research – best practices for your experiments

In this webinar, we guide you through the workflow steps of miRNA experiments. We explain best practices and tools, factors to consider at each step, along with the pros and cons of different assay methods. We also explain how to ensure successful miRNA purification from various sample types.

Watch the webinar recording here

Download the slide deck here

Webinar 2: Successfully detect miRNAs using qPCR with LNA technology

In this webinar, we introduce the advantages of miRNA detection using qPCR with LNA technology. In addition, we discuss how to overcome the special challenges associated with analyzing biofluids such as plasma.

Watch the webinar recording here

Download the slide deck here

Webinar 3: Introduction to miRNA discovery using NGS

In this webinar, we introduce the QIAseq miRNA Library Kit, which features unique molecular indexing (UMIs) and a gel-free workflow from as little as 1ng of total RNA. Whether you’re working with serum, cells, tissues or FFPE samples, our LNA-enhanced chemistry and proprietary technology ensures higher levels of mapped miRNA reads. Cloud-based NGS data analysis allows anyone with access to an NGS instrument to go from sample to data in as little as 3 days.

Watch the webinar recording here

Download the slide deck here

 

You can also check out our miRNA knowledge area or download the RNA Universe poster for your lab!

Kjell Kirschbaum

Kjell Kirschbaum, M.Sc., is a Global Market Manager based in QIAGEN’s Venlo office, the Netherlands. He trained as a bioveterinary scientist at the University of Utrecht and has hands-on experience in nucleic acid and protein purification, cell culture, PCR and qPCR technology. Kjell joined QIAGEN in 2011 as a CRM specialist, regularly interacting with customers about their day-to-day experimental needs and offering relevant solutions. Currently, he is involved in managing global projects for sample preparation and automation technologies.

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