Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), or location analysis, is an antibody-based method for identifying the segments of DNA recognized by a particular transcription factor in a native chromatin environment. ChIP involves a number of time-consuming steps, and several companies have developed products to simplify the technique. A new ChIP-on-chip array from Santa Clara, Calif.-based Agilent now makes the procedure amenable to high-throughput studies.

ChIP-on-chip is a ChIP variant in which the DNA segments that bind to a particular DNA-binding protein are identified on a microarray. Agilent spokesperson Sameer Rohatgi says that what makes the company's ChIP microarrays unique is their use of 60-mer probes. (A comparable product from NimbleGen of Madison, Wis., in contrast, sports 390,000 50-mers.) "The noise is very low, so the enrichment of the binding event that one would see when you're looking for ChIP-on-chip is very high compared to other methods of detection," Rohatgi says.

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