Dna Microarrays Essay

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DNA Microarrays “DNA microarrays consist of tiny amounts of a large number of single-stranded DNA fragments representing different genes fixed to a glass slide in a tightly spaced array, or grid.” (1) Hundreds of genes are being discovered for the first time ever by sequencing the genomes of some organisms. This is such an amazing reminder that a good majority of the natural world still remains unexplored and a mystery at the molecular level. DNA microarrays provide a way scientist can explore the world at that molecular level. First, we need to know exactly what the word “explore” really means. To “explore” means to look around, to observe, and to describe undiscovered territory. To explore doesn’t mean to test theories or models. Exploring is at best done systematically and the genome, which is represented by a complete blueprint of an organism, is the natural bounded system in which to lead this exploration. DNA microarrays give a simple and natural way for exploring the genome in a fashion that is both systematical and comprehensive. “The power of the DNA microarrays, as experimental tools, comes from the exquisite specificity and affinity of complementary base-pairing. A single copy of an individual gene provides nearly ideal reagent for specific and quantitative detection and measurement of the sequence of the gene, even in extreme conditions.” (3) Because of that, the sequence information given by the genome displays an instant impact on experimental biology. Several features of DNA microarray technology make it pretty well fitted to exploratory research for many reasons. One of these reasons is because it is cheap. “The capital cost for building both an arrayer and scanner is less than $60,000 and the cost per copy of a yeast genome microarray is about $20.” (2) Another reason is that it is flexible and universal. As we continue to learn more

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