In the absence of a standard format for storing microarray information, people— oftentimes within the same institution—find it difficult to use the millions of data points accumulating in the several microarray repositories extant today. Since its inception in 1999, the Microarray Gene Expression Data Society (MGED) has been working to solve this problem, and the group put forth its latest attempt, MAGE-ML, in the 23 August issue of Genome Biology, (a publication of The Scientist's partner, BioMed Central).

MAGE-ML (Microarray Gene Expression Mark-up Language) follows on the heels of an earlier MGED-devised standard, MIAME (Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment), which defined for users what information is needed to facilitate data sharing. MAGE-ML provides a framework for moving and storing microarray data sets that incorporates the principles set down in MIAME, bringing the field one step closer to having universally usable public repositories.

The difficulty with microarray...

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