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Perspective: Microarray Technology, Seeing More Than Spots.

C. Afshari
Published 2002 · Biology, Medicine

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The publication in the mid-1990s of a new molecular tool, the DNA microarray, has led to a revolution in the way scientists approach the investigation of gene expression and regulation. This technology has made its impact upon many basic scientific disciplines including cancer biology, developmental biology, toxicology, investigation of growth-factor and hormonal signaling, and the applied areas of disease diagnostics and drug development. The ability to assay thousands of genes simultaneously in a high-throughput manner across RNA samples derived from various biological sources and treatments has increased the need for integration of higher-order statistical analyses and data management schema into molecular biology laboratories. Many investigators are struggling with interpreting large, complex datasets, communicating their findings, and developing strategies for following up numerous potential leads indicated in datasets. This perspective provides an overview of the technology and its impact, as well as strategies for study design, data analysis, and avoidance of potential pitfalls.
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