Microarray Not Fade Away

Yes, many are attracted to next-generation sequencing, but loyalty to chip-based phenotyping has its rewards, particularly in screens of large sample sets.

from Genetic Engineering News – by Lisa Heiden

The microarray, the legacy technology for measuring gene expression, will not go gentle into that good night. True, in some respects, the microarray will be eclipsed by next-generation sequencing (NGS), specifically, whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing. But the microarray will remain indispensible for many applications. Beyond that, the microarray will evolve to complement NGS applications, finding reasons to stay relevant besides theloyalty of its long-time users.

Microarrays are built upon the concept of hybridization, the binding of cDNA, complementary DNA strands derived from sample RNA, to strands of synthetic DNA. In the prototypic microarray, the synthetic strands are attached to a small, solid support. This support—a biochip—can be manufactured with thousands of probes or capture agents.

Microarray technology evolved from Southern blotting, which was invented by Edwin Southern, Ph.D. at Edinburgh University in 1975. In Southern blotting, DNA fragments are blotted onto a membrane and probed with known sequences to identify specific sequences via probe-target hybridization assays.

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