Freq asked questions

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Frequently Asked Questions


Which platforms do you support for expression analysis?

We support Affymetrix, Agilent and printed arrays from Operon.

How do I sign up to use your ABI 7900 RT-PCR machine?

  • The sign-up sheet is located next to the machine in room 325.
  • Fill out the ABI 7900 Sign-Up Sheet with your name, PI, phone number, and type of plate (96, 384 or TLDA)
  • To cancel, please do so 24 hours in advance so that others can use the slot.
  • Fill out the Usage Log (also located next to the machine) after use.

Do you have bench/work space for visiting users in the WICMT laboratory? What about tips, etc?

WICMT has available bench space for visitors to use. We supply tips and gloves. Please be aware that this bench space, as well as WICMT refrigerators and freezers, is a “glove zone” – please wear gloves when handling WICMT tips, reagents, etc.

How is my RNA checked for quality control before processing?

We use Agilent’s Bioanalyzer 2100 for RNA QC. Please see Agilent’s website for more information.

Will I get my samples back after my experiment is complete?

Yes. We will ship your samples and leftover arrays back to you. Please provide a FedEx number on your sample submission form.

How long can I expect to wait for my project to be completed?

We pride ourselves on fast turnaround but our project list can get quite long. At the time of sample submission we will provide you with an estimate of when the project will be completed. Expression analysis projects cannot be scheduled until RNA is submitted. Typical wait time for standard service projects is about 2 weeks.

How long does it take?

Please allow 2-4 weeks for completion of the entire analysis from receipt of samples to delivery of the final data.

What about unused sample?


How much does it cost to do a microarray experiment?

Please see the Pricing page for our full price list. Please note that non-WI/MIT academic institutions should add 30% to the list price. Commercial entities should add 60%. Contact us for Affymetrix Gene Chip or Agilent catalog array pricing. Quotes are available for larger projects. Q: How much does it cost to print a custom array? A: Pricing for custom array projects is a function of labor, equipment time and supplies (slides). Every project is different and it is often difficult to predict the total costs until the work is complete. Customers interested in printing custom arrays should contact Tom Volkert for estimates. Q: Is there a bulk discount for processing large numbers of samples? A: Volume discounts are available, contact WICMT for details.

How much does the lab use program cost? What does it include?

A monthly fee of $250 covers your lab’s usage of common equipment, such as the Nanodrop spectrophotometer and the SpeedVac, and occasional usage of other equipment as needed. Please note that this monthly lab use fee does NOT include the ABI Prism 700 RT-PCR machine, Affymetrix equipment, or the Biomek. To sign your lab up, contact Jennifer Love with your request. You will begin receiving monthly invoices from WICMT right away.

Sample Submission

How much RNA do I need to do a microarray experiment?

For the standard one-cycle labeling protocol we request 10ug total RNA, and an extra 1ug for QC. For the small sample (two-cycle) labeling protocol, 25-50ng total RNA is requested. It is always beneficial to supply enough RNA for two sample preps, if possible. This is just for security. One and two cycle labeling is available for all supported array platforms.

How do I submit samples to WICMT for processing?

Please download the Sample Submission Form on the Forms page. There is no need to submit any secondary forms, since this form provides your contact information, as well as information about your samples.

Where can I find the forms I need to submit samples?

See our Forms page for all our submission forms.


How do I ship my RNA to WICMT?

If you are shipping within the U.S., please send your samples by overnight priority shipping on dry ice. If you are shipping internationally, please send your samples at room temperature, precipitated in EtOH and NaOAc according to your lab protocol. WICMT will chill your samples overnight to precipitate, and then spin down and resuspend your RNA. In this case, it is imperative that you supply at least double the amount of RNA you would normally supply.

What’s your shipping address?

Please ship your materials to: Jennifer Love, Whitehead Institute Center for Microarray Technology, 9 Cambridge Center, Room 325, Cambridge MA, 02145.

How do I ship my Affymetrix Gene Chips to WICMT?

You can ship the Gene Chips at room temperature by overnight priority shipping. Once here, they will be stored in our refrigerators. Please write your name on the boxes before you send them.

How do I drop-ship Affymetrix Gene Chips to WICMT?

A: Because WICMT is a service facility, we have made arrangements with Affymetrix to allow our customers to order and pay for Gene Chips themselves, and have the Gene Chips shipped directly to our laboratory. Please be sure to mention this arrangement when placing your order. Please have the chips delivered in your name, care of Jennifer Love. This will make keeping track of arriving chips more efficient. Please see our shipping address above. WICMT cannot order chips for customers outside of the Whitehead Institute or MIT.