Revisiting Microarrays

Regarding the articles on microarrays,1-3 Pat Brown and the group at Stanford deserve great recognition for their technological innovations that led to widespread use of microarray analysis in biomedical research. However, the concept of computerized gene expression profiling, its reduction to practice, and enumeration of its potential in many areas of disease diagnosis, prognosis, drug sensitivity, and investigation of underlying mechanism has a much longer history.

Use of defined arrays for expression analysis of each of 400 sequences to characterize mouse tumors was published in 1982,4 leading to the observation that expression of one class of endogenous retroviral sequences was cell cycle-linked. 5-7 This was followed in 1987 by development of computerized quantification of gene expression for arrays of 4,000 genes8 and followed up in 1991.9 This led to the identification of a role of mitochondrial function in tumor formation, well before involvement of...

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