January 1, 1970 (Vol. , No. )

John Sterling Editor in Chief Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Microarrays have revolutionized cancer research over the past decade. In particular, microarrays provide for higher degrees of specificity and sensitivity while allowing research results to be achieved much more quickly than was the case in the past.

This week’s podcast focuses on the work of a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory team. Diane Esposito, Ph.D., a researcher at the Lab, and her colleagues have developed a novel microarray method of hybridization that permits high resolution and the detection of imbalances in the human genome using only minute amounts of cancerous tissue. Using this technology, Dr. Esposito and her group compare representations of cancerous cells and normal cells to identify locations where genes are amplified or deleted in cancers. Being able to identify which genes are deleted and which genes are amplified in cancerous cells enables researchers to characterize the cancers of patients and target these genes in cancer therapies. Dr. Esposito’s research has focused on demonstrating the ability of this technique to detect homozygous deletions in breast cancers and leukemias.

We’d like to get your thoughts on the use of microarrays in life science research by answering the following question:

Dr. Rainer Breitling, an assistant professor at the University of Groningen’s Bioinformatics Center in the Netherlands has talked about some common questions in microarray experimental design. For example, how many arrays will I need? Should I pool my samples? Which arrays should I choose? And which samples should I put together on one array?

Question: are there any other experimental design issues you believe need to be addressed?

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