Planning a Screen

There are many aspects to take into account when planning a screen with us and it's important to break-down a suitable timescale. Here are our main points to consider.


From the concept of a screen, to a list of hits can take several months to over a year. Sometimes, what appears to be a simple assay, working well in a few samples on your bench, will not translate easily into a whole genome screen involving 18000 clones in duplicate. Some screens have failed, before they even got started, but most progress uneventfully to a list of validated hits.

Assay Development

Remember to take an assay, using hand pipettes and some tubes, onto a semi-automated platform using robotics requires tinkering. To break times down into its individual parts here are some SRSF suggestions.

Genome-wide Screen

The genome-wide screen usually takes between five and ten days to do, but can take a month or so, in planning, growing cells, building up plasmid stocks etc. Remember, on those days that you are doing screening, make sure every details is planned to the nth degree. You don't want any surprises on screening days, because you forgot something obvious. With data processing, if using 'R' and HTS2, usually takes a few weeks to generate all the Z-scores and a list of top hits.


There are training videos available on our web site, through the registered users area, so please make use of them. If you are using more complicated algorithms, i.e., from the ImageXpress suite, then data processing can take much longer. We suggest you develop ImageXpress algorithms, including the journals and canned applications during the assay development phase of this work.