GEN, Scintellix, LLC, and Bio-Rad are proud to announce that the Cryptogram Challenge: qPCR has been solved. Owen Piette, electrical engineer at Integrated DNA Technologies, successfully cracked the code in the qPCR Cryptogram Challenge. Owen along with a colleague also won GEN's first contest, the MicroArray Challenge.
Click here to find out the hidden message and how Piette found it. In addition to a $1,500 cash prize, he won Bio-Rad's MyCyclerTM personal thermal cycler, which he plans to donate to a research laboratory.
Clues Released during the qPCR Challenge
Clue 1: The image is a stylized readout of a quantitative PCR experiment. The bases, A, T, G, and C, are artistically displayed within the readout as if in solution.
Clue 2: The horizontal black 'threshold' line is irrelevant.
Clue 3: Cycle Numbers encode linear vertical lanes and Relative Fluorescent Units encode log plotted horizontal lanes. Their product is important.
Clue 4: The curved triplicate readout plots are irrelevant.
Clue 5: Biological specificity is important.
Clue 6: A clue to the solution can be found on this web page: http://www.genengnews.com/keyword/pcr/254
Clue 7: The answer has three words.
Clue 8: Draw lines between any two bases that are co-linear, accept only AT or GC combinations.
Clue 9: midpoint of the AT and GC lines identify cells that code for letters. There are 21 letters in total. Repeat letters have multiple line midpoints over them.
Clue 10: The clue on the web page in clue six is the inventor of PCR, Kary Mullis.
Clue 11: In the encoded alphabet, the letters in his last name add up to 50.
Decode the cipher hidden in the image below
qPCR Challenge PRIZE: $1,500 and your choice of one of five Bio-Rad benchtop devices
Select from: Gene Pulser Xcell™ eukaryotic system, MyCycler™
personal thermal cycler, TC10™ automated cell counter, VersaFluor™ fluorometer,
and SmartSpec™ Plus spectrophotometer.
The first 150 registrants will receive a free Challenge T-shirt.
Be sure to read the Challenge Rules and Regulations »