Developing tools for reliable gene chip measurements
Microarrays, sometimes called "gene chip" devices, enable researchers to monitor the activities of thousands of genes from a single tissue sample simultaneously, identifying patterns that may be novel indicators of disease status. But generating consistent, verifiable results is difficult because of a lack of standards to validate these analyses, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and collaborators warn in the May 20 online issue of Clinical Chemistry.
Microarrays are keychain-sized devices with as many as several million tiny spots, each of which examines genes of interest simultaneously using minute sample volumes. This highly sensitive technology is relatively new, and standard procedures to ensure the reliability and comparability of results are only beginning to emerge. For instance, results can change as a result of differences in how tissues are collected and processed; variations in how the molecules are counted, attached to substrates and labeled for detection; deviations from recommended protocols by lab personnel; and malfunctioning or miscalibrated equipment. Such variations need to be controlled before this technology can be used reliably in clinical settings and in devices requiring regulatory approval, according to the paper.
As a first step toward addressing reliability issues, a consortium co-led by NIST and industry is developing standards that will satisfy needs identified at a 2003 workshop. At the workshop, organized and hosted by NIST, leaders in the microarray field from industry, government and universities recommended the development of a well-characterized set of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules whose identity and concentration are known. RNA is an important product of gene activity. Users will be able to validate the results of gene chip analyses by adding such a reference material to their samples and comparing the measured values to what would be expected for them. Such a reference material also will enable technology developers and researchers to assess the performance of their assays.
The paper was co-authored by scientists from Genomic Health, Inc., Agilent Technologies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and The Institute for Genome Research.
Laura Ost | NIST
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...