Courtesy of Tecan Group

Knowledge of the tissues and cells that express particular genes is key to understanding gene function. In situ hybridization (ISH), a popular method for deciphering gene expression, is a slow, labor-intensive, error-prone operation that limits parallel investigation of multiple genes and tissues to what may be carried out quickly by hand. These attributes essentially preclude slide-staining efforts from the high-throughput analyses that are so critical to functional genomics research. But a new system from Tecan Group, Männedorf, Switzerland, could change all that.

Based on an established pipetting robot platform, GenePaint--invented by Gregor Eichele of the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Hannover, Germany--delivers high-throughput performance for ISH, fluorescence ISH (FISH), and immunohistochemistry. The system's automated flexibility eliminates 80% of the manual steps of conventional ISH by performing all fixing, staining, washing, and hybridization operations in a temperature-controlled environment. It also integrates specialized reagent kits familiar to...

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