01 February 2005
Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(2): RA52-62 :: ID: 14231
Microarrays, a recent development, have provided a revolutionary platform for the study of gene expression, regulation and function. Thus, it has tremendous potential in the study of biological processes in health and disease. Notable examples include the identification of regulatory genes in the cell cycle mechanism, and disease causing genes in malignancies and certain neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, microarray-based studies have provided the necessary impetus for biomedical experiments, particularly following the sequencing of the human genome. However, it must be emphasized that microarrays are not the sole purview of biologists, but represent the amalgamation of the efforts of biomedical scientists, technologists and statisticians. This is particularly considering the challenges in the manufacture of microarrays and supporting equipment, and the meaningful analyses of the tremendous volume of data generated by these experiments. In this article, the principles and technological concerns regarding microarrays and microarray-based experiments, the steps involved in obtaining and the rationale of analyses of data derived from these experiments is reviewed. Further, some aspects of microarray-based experimentation, such as experimental design, and data handling and interpretation are discussed. However, as with all novel methods there is still scope for improvement. The relative merits and demerits of microarrays and analysis of microarray based data are reviewed, along with current issues of concern and future possibilities. Thus, the overall aim of this article is to highlight some of the past and potential future uses of microarray-based experiments and present a broad overview of this rapidly growing technology.
Keywords: Gene Expression Profiling - instrumentation, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis - classification, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis - instrumentation, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis - trends, Gene Expression Profiling - trends, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis - trends, Reproducibility of Results, Terminology as Topic
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