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A microarray is a laboratory tool employed to identify the expression of genes at that moment. For DNA microarrays, these are microscope slides printed with many tiny spots, each in a defined position. Each spot containing a known gene or DNA sequence. These can be referred to as gene chips or DNA chips. The DNA attached to each slide act as probes to detect the mRNA transcripts.


Microarray analysis is undertaken by collecting mRNA molecules from an experimental sample and an reference sample. For instance, the reference sample could be collected from the control, and the experimental sample could be collected from the variable replicates.

The mRNA samples are converted into complementary DNA (cDNA). The sample are each labelled with different coloured fluorescent probes.

The samples are mixed together and allowed to bind to the microarray slide. This process is known as hybridization. Afterwards, the microarray is scanned to measure the gene expression for each DNA sequence or gene present on the printed on the slide. A higher expression of a gene in the experimental sample than in the reference sample will be indicated with a colour. And a different colour for the opposite. 

The data can be used to generate gene expression profiles. 

How do they work?


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