Courtesy of Spotfire

Spotfire's Array Explorer

Gene expression profiling using DNA microarrays generates reams of data. But as is so often the case, it's not the quantity but the quality that matters: Gene expression data is useless unless biologically meaningful information can be extracted and presented in some readily understandable fashion. The production of this meaningful information, involving many facets of image processing, statistical analyses, and data visualization, is only possible with computers running sophisticated software.

The overall process begins with cDNA or oligonucleotides spotted in two-dimensional arrays onto glass slides or nylon membranes, or synthesized on biochips using technology borrowed from the semiconductor industry.1 Messenger RNAs isolated from the test and reference tissues are labeled by reverse transcription with either a red or green fluorescent dye, mixed, and hybridized to the microarray. After washing, the bound fluorescent dyes on the arrays are...

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