TaqMan Real-time PCR data system

Example of radar-graph displaying the relative gene expression level of two selected genes across a set of 77 tissues.
 radar-graph example of TaqMan data

The client was engaged in a long series of TaqMan real-time PCR experiments, using a set of mRNA's extracted from various tissue sources.  This resulted in a dataset that contained the relative expression level of the tested genes in all of the tissues in the panel. They needed a way to organize and display the data.

We developed several compenents to create a system to manage this data.  First, we created a Microsoft Access database that was used as an initial importer of the flat-file data into a structured database format.  This database also contained a structured workflow, presented as set of forms, to allow the researcher to properly curate the data (see the figures below).  The final step in the curarion process is to publish the data into the corporate LIMS (a SQL Server database). 

The data display component took the form of a radar-graph, as shown to the right.  This display was developed as a Microsoft Visual Basic application.  The program connects to the corporate LIMS, and allows the user to select one or more genes to be plotted.  Right-clicking on points allows one to bring up a table of the numeric values.

The front form of the MS Access TaqMan data import and curation system.  Each button represents a step in the curation process that has to be completed by the researcher; in general, each button opens a separate form that has controls and instructions to complete the step.
TaqMan database processing flow
The database table relationship diagram for the TaqMan curation databasedatabase relationship diagram