Courtesy of Mirjam Lohmann

Microarray processing often takes place in core facilities and includes multiple instruments: a hybridization chamber, a fluidics station, a scanner, and a spotter for printing customized arrays. Now scientists can perform genotyping, gene expression profiling, and resequencing experiments at their own lab benches. The geniom® one from Mannheim, Germany-based febit, recently launched in Europe and slated for US release in 2004, is a fully automated benchtop microarrayer that enables on-site oligonucleotide array synthesis, hybridization, and fluorescence detection all in one instrument.

The system's software designs oligonucleotide probes from selected genes of interest. Alternatively, probe sequences can be imported into the database, creating a virtual array whose design is easily manipulated. Probe sequence, probe length, number of probes per gene, control probes, and perfect match/mismatch strategies can be tailored to meet the needs of the researcher, according to Mirjam Lohmann, manager of public relations at febit....

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