The technique, which pairs RIKEN’s Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) protocol with the Helicos® Genetic Analysis System developed by Helicos BioSciences Corporation, opens the door to the detailed analysis of gene expression networks and rare cell populations.
In recent years, next-generation DNA sequencers have produced an increasingly detailed picture of how genes are expressed at the molecular level. The transcriptional output of these genes – the RNA copies produced from DNA – has revealed a richness of complexity in transcript structure and function, providing insights into the molecular-level properties of cancers and other diseases.
One of the most powerful methods for analyzing RNA transcripts is the Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) protocol developed at the RIKEN OSC. A unique approach, CAGE enables not only high-throughput gene expression profiling, but also simultaneous identification of transcriptional start sites (TSS) specific to each tissue, cell or condition.
With HeliScopeCAGE, the OSC research team has adapted the existing CAGE protocol for use with the revolutionary HeliScopeTM Single Molecule Sequencer. Unlike earlier sequencers, the HeliScope Sequencer does not employ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to multiply a small number of DNA strands for analysis, a process which can introduce biases into data. Instead, the HeliScope Sequencer actually sequences the DNA strand itself, enabling direct, high-precision measurement.In a paper published in Genome Research, RIKEN researchers confirm that this direct approach reduces biases and generates highly reproducible data from between 5 micrograms to as little as 100 nanograms of total RNA. A comparison using a leukemia cell line (THP-1) and a human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa) further shows that results from the technique are closely correlated to those from traditional microarray analysis. By making possible high-precision gene expression analysis from tiny samples, HeliScopeCAGE greatly expands the scope of research at the OSC, strengthening the institute’s role in Japan as a hub for next-generation genome analysis.
Here at the RIKEN Omics Science Center, we are developing a versatile analysis system, called the “Life Science Accelerator (LSA)”, with the objective of advancing omics research. LSA is a multi-purpose, large-scale analysis system that rapidly analyzes molecular networks. It collects various genome-wide data at high throughput from cells and other biological materials, comprehensively analyzes experimental data, and thereby aims to elucidate the molecular networks of the sample. The term “accelerator” was chosen to emphasize the strong supporting role that this system will play in supporting and accelerating life science research worldwide.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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