About Me

Rana Hafez Mostafa Al-Akrami

Hi, I'm Rana. I graduated from faculty of Biotechnology in Misr University for Science and Technology in 2015. But unfortunately, I left the field for three years after my graduation and went to pursue one of my other intrests which is marketing. Maker Diploma was the perfect opportunity for me to get back to what I truly love which is science and technology. The diploma has been a life changing experience, I've learned so much and my mind has been opened to so many things.


Thermal Cycler (PCR Machine)

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine amplifies bits of DNA, creating millions of copies of a target sequence. It is able to specifically increase and decrease temperatures, over and over again. It is an indispensable tool in modern molecular biology and has transformed scientific research and diagnostic medicine.  

Most lab-quality PCR machines cost thousands of dollars. But they don't need to! Today there is a growing number of open source PCR projects, among them OpenPCR and NinjaPCR.

PCR set up:

  • Step 1: initial denaturation; 94 C, 5 minutes (in this step the samples are heated to 94 C - 96 C for 5 minutes with the main purpose to activate the taq DNA polymerase)

  • Step 2: Denaturation; 94 C, 30 seconds (in this step the double stranded DNA fragment melts open to single stranded fragments)

  • Step 3: Annealing; 62 C, 30 seconds (in this step the hydrogen bonds are formed between the primers and the DNA template)

  • Step 4: Extension; 72 C, 30 seconds ( a new DNA strand is synthesized behind the primers using dNTP)

  • Step 5: Repeat step 2,3 and 4; 30 cycles (the number of the target DNA will grow exponentially) - 3-4 hours  are only need to create billions of copies of the DNA target fragment

  • Step 6: Final extension; 72 C, 5 minutes ( this step is performed to ensure the remaining single strands are fully extended)