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Relative Fluorescent Units Considered Harmful

September 11, 2016

My working title for the paper that will come from this year’s iGEM interlab study is “Relative Fluorescent Units Considered Harmful.”  It’s a bit of a playful title, invoking a computer science tradition started by the notorious Edsger Dijkstra. I think, however, that this statement is deserved and also that we can now back it up with some hard experimental evidence.


Most of the data is in—I’m just waiting for a few more teams with extensions—and it looks like we’ve got amazing results.  The big news is, in a more positive reformulation of my title, that calibrating fluorescence measurements works, and that it makes a big enough difference to be worth it.  Let me present the key conclusions that I believe we can now support in the form of responses to the most common arguments that I hear against calibrating fluorescent measurements.


Read Beal's full blog post here.

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Sponsored by National Science Foundation’s Expeditions in Computing Program

(Awards #1522074 / 1521925 / 1521759).