Protocol for the Standardisation of Transcriptional Measurements

  • Christopher D. Hirst
  • Catherine Ainsworth
  • Geoff Baldwin
  • Richard I. Kitney
  • Paul S. FreemontEmail author
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


A key component of the engineering approach underlying synthetic biology is the use of standardisation to enable better design of biological systems. One of the most important areas to standardise is the measurement of part, device and system activity in order to improve designs and aid sharing of data. While methods for standardising transcriptional measurements have been designed, they have suffered from poor uptake, and as more parts and systems are detailed, potentially useful information and comparison may be being lost. This protocol takes the best of the previously developed standards while adding some advice for best practice and data standardisation, designed to improve the ease with which data collected in separate labs may be shared and used. Standardisation of measurements and data has the potential to allow greater understanding of the biological systems synthetic biologists engineer and in turn lead to better tools to allow the design of larger and more complicated systems.


Fluorescence Standardization Synthetic biology Transcription Transcriptional measurement 



We would like to acknowledge Jake Beal for useful discussions regarding the standardisation of flow cytometry results. We also thank EPSRC for funding and colleagues in CSynBI particularly Guy Bart-Stan and Tom Ells.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher D. Hirst
    • 1
  • Catherine Ainsworth
    • 1
  • Geoff Baldwin
    • 2
  • Richard I. Kitney
    • 1
  • Paul S. Freemont
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Bioengineering, Centre for Synthetic Biology and InnovationImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Life Sciences, Centre for Synthetic Biology and InnovationImperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Centre for Synthetic Biology and InnovationImperial College LondonLondonUK

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