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Volume 10 Issue 1 (January 2007), Pages iii-iii, 1-158

Microarrays (pages 19-23)


Microarrays are revolutionizing genetics by making it possible to genotype hundreds of thousands of DNA markers and to assess the expression (RNA transcripts) of all of the genes in the genome. Microarrays are slides the size of a postage stamp that contain millions of DNA sequences to which single‐stranded DNA or RNA can hybridize. This miniaturization requires little DNA or RNA and makes the method fast and inexpensive; multiple assays of each target make the method highly accurate. DNA microarrays with hundreds of thousands of DNA markers have made it possible to conduct systematic scans of the entire genome to identify genetic associations with complex disorders or dimensions likely to be influenced by many genes of small effect size. RNA microarrays can provide snapshots of gene expression across all of the genes in the genome at any time in any tissue, which has far‐reaching applications such as structural and functional ‘genetic neuroimaging’ and providing a biological basis for understanding environmental influence.

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