Meeting to explore possible gene expression consortium

04/21/05

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will a host a meeting on May 16, 2005, in Boulder, Colo., to explore the possibility of creating a NIST-industry consortium focused on gene expression metrology.

Parallel and closely related advances over the last few years in the sequencing of whole genomes and the development of so-called gene microarrays have fueled an explosive growth in data on genes and their functions. Gene microarrays use thousands or tens of thousands of short lengths of single-strand DNA, fixed in a grid about the size of a postage stamp, to rapidly measure gene activity. It's a powerful technology, but one that has evolved rapidly, and in advance of any underlying scientific infrastructure to quantitatively evaluate the quality of individual experimental results.

As a consequence, it has become difficult to reconcile the results of microarray experiments at different labs using different equipment. Lack of a gene expression measurement infrastructure is undermining confidence in microarray-based test results.

To address this problem, NIST is hosting the May 16 meeting to assess industry interest in establishing a Consortium on Gene Expression Metrology. The consortium would develop universal measurement methods to characterize microarray performance, including measures of signal-to-noise ratio, signal-to-background ratio, dynamic range (from minimum to maximum quantifiable amount), and selectivity/specificity.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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