Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Microarrays as phenotype


Microarrays provide a method of quantifying the expression and order of genes in a particular genome -- acting as a surrogate measure of cell physiology, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears online today in the journal Nature Genetics.

"Microarray data are good phenotypes to determine the order of genes and are a good surrogate measure of cell status," said Dr. Gad Shaulsky, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at BCM.

Microarrays are fairly new technology that can help scientists understand how genes interact as well as how they are regulated by networks within the cell. They are created by the placement of tiny droplets of functional DNA on glass slides. Then researchers attach fluorescent labels to nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) from the cells under study. These labeled nucleic acids are allowed to bind to the DNA on the slides. Researchers then use a microscope to measure how much of a specific nucleic acid is present.

Genotype is the genetic fingerprint of a particular cell. Phenotype is the outward manifestation of the genotype. For example, a person may have genes for eye color. That is that individual’s genotype. Blue eyes is the phenotype.

The microarray data Shaulsky and his collaborators used show that they can determine the order in which genes act in a cascade that results in a particular phenotype.

Shaulsky and his co-authors performed their work in Dictyostelium (Dictyostelium discoideum), a form of soil amoeba used in the laboratory because many of its 10,000 genes are homologues or equivalents of genes found in humans.

Using microarray data alone, they determined the orders in which genes function in a particular pathway in that organism. The protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway occurs when the organism encounters starvation. The pathway enables the single cells to combine into a multi-cell organism.

"We pretended we did not know the order of genes in the pathway," said Shaulsky. "We were able to reconstruct the pathway from the microarray data. This means the microarray provides a good phenotype that is quantitative. We can prove that gene A comes before gene B and give mathematical support for these findings."

"This is a proof of principle that we set out to do – assessing the function of unknown genes is feasible," said Shaulsky. "It can be done with a microarray phenotype."

Others who participated in the research included Drs. Nancy Van Driessche, Ezgi O. Booth, Paul Hill and Adam Kuspa, all of Baylor College of Medicine; and Janez Demsar, Peter Juvan and Blaz Zupan of the Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

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.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

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.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

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.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

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...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>