Affymetrix offers a new chip off the old block

MyGeneChip gives customers access to same advances for model organism studies as they have enjoyed with human arrays.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Boasting what it says is "the industry's most complete line of custom gene expression and genotyping arrays for plant and animal genomes," Affymetrix Inc. recently launched its MyGeneChip program. Under the new program, Affymetrix will work with agricultural, microbial, pharmaceutical and other researchers to design and create reproducible and affordable GeneChip arrays that can answer specific genetic questions. Customers provide the content, says Dr. Robert Barkovich, product marketing manager at Affymetrix, "and we create the arrays."Affymetrix MyGeneChip custom arrays use the same basic GeneChip technology that has been one of the standards in microarray research for the past decade. With the MyGeneChip Program, customers now have access to the same technological advances for model organism studies as they did with human arrays, Barkovich notes."This program really builds on previous successes with the CustomExpress, CustomSeq and more than 20 model organism consortia programs," he says. "In addition to whole-genome 3' in vitro transcript expression and resequencing arrays, researchers now have the ability to order custom whole-transcript expression arrays, as well as tiling and genotyping arrays so that they can look at plant and animal genomes in much more detail than before."Researchers in any laboratory reportedly can now perform whole-transcript gene expression, alternative splicing, ChIP-on-chip and transcript mapping experiments to gain a better understanding of plant and animal genomes. Affymetrix' whole-transcript exon- and gene-level products are said to be able to deliver a more complete and accurate view of a gene's total transcriptional activity—not just the 3' end of a gene, as with traditional expression array designs. "Affymetrix has already commercialized more than 500 custom products for hundreds of different organisms," says Dr. John E. Blume, senior vice president of product development at Affymetrix. "The MyGeneChip Program continues to raise the bar by enabling customers to take advantage of the Affymetrix gold-standard platform and the latest available genetic content. These arrays will enable the plant and animal communities to perform experiments that were not previously possible."In addition, the MyGeneChip Program will also offer select custom genotyping arrays for plant and animal genomes to help research communities improve the health and nutritional value of plants and animals. Affymetrix will work with customers to identify specific large-scale, whole-genome projects to identify genetic markers that correlate with particular performance and development traits. For these opportunities, Affymetrix will expand its Custom Technology Access Program to include genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. These custom arrays will be based on the design of the Human SNP Array 6.0, which measures more than 1.8 million markers for genetic variation. Affymetrix reports that it will continue to work with the plant and animal research communities to ensure that these MyGeneChip Custom Genotyping Arrays feature the latest available SNP content. DDNeditconnect: e020816

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