The patterns of gene expression can help determine what makes a neuron different in form and function from a lymphocyte and how each responds to external stimuli. Ascertaining these patterns during development or in the course of disease is now more common and has a higher level of importance than ever before. Conventional techniques for determining changes in gene expression include Northern blots, serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), and cDNA microarrays.

RAGE, (rapid analysis of gene expression), developed by Michael MacLeod at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, is a new technology that offers rapid, detailed, and quantitative analysis of differential gene expression in eukaryotic cells and tissue.1 MacLeod currently applies this technology to investigate the changes in gene expression in human cells following treatment with a carcinogen and to determine the changes in large numbers of genes in early stage breast cancer. These...

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