Biological and Technical Replicates

Biological and technical replicates are two different approaches to making repeated measurements of an underlying biological phenomenon in biomedical research. It is generally a good practice to include both types of replicates in each experiment.

Broadly speaking, technical replicates are independently repeated measurements of the same sample using the same procedure. As such, these replicates represent independent measures of the noise (typically random) associated with protocols or equipment: They help measure the reproducibility of an assay and not the reproducibility of the underlying biological phenomenon. Biological replicates, on the other hand, are parallel measurements of biologically distinct samples. These replicates help capture the variation (random or otherwise) of the biological phenomenon under study and help measure its reproducibility. The distinction between technical and biological replicates is ...

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