NGS vs. Microarrays
NGS improvements have enabled more detailed views on classic gene-expression experiments typically run on microarrays. “Typically, microarray experiments produce lists of genes with differential expression across a collection of samples,” says Michael Lelivelt, Ph.D., vp, genomics, Partek.
“However, several technical developments enable analysis of NGS mRNA-seq data to produce estimates of levels of individual transcripts differentially expressed rather than simply differentially expressed genes.”
Partek is a desktop application that compares different genomes and transcriptomes. “Instead of mapping sequencing reads to genes, we map the reads to specific transcripts and then define global changes in the transcriptome across various conditions,” explains Dr. Lelivelt.
“With NGS, one can look at gene expression in a less biased way than with microarrays. The ability to correlate changes in RNA abundance with changes in DNA template abundance helps corroborate scientific findings. Researchers want more integration of multiple genomic technologies.”
Giving researchers a good desktop tool to answer these questions makes personalized medicine more feasible. “More researchers use large-scale genomic technologies, because it is so much cheaper now to sequence transcriptomes and easier to define a set of differentially expressed transcripts through streamlined analysis. Lowering both economic and technological barriers will increase NGS’ impact on personalized medicine,” notes Dr. Lelivelt.