A study conducted by the Toxicogenomics Research Consortium and funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, may bring us one step closer to personalised medical treatment--that is, medical treatment tailored to each person's unique genetic make-up and medical condition. The study shows researchers how to get more consistent and reliable results when using a technology called microarrays or gene chips. Microarrays allow scientists to see how differences in gene expression are linked to specific diseases. Improving and standardising microarray experiments will also allow earlier detection of diseases like cancer.
"The microarray is fairly new so, right now, researchers are using a lot of different methods and protocols in microarray experiments. That makes it hard for researchers to compare their results to results from other labs," said Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). "When scientists start using the same methods, equipment and reagents, data can be compared across the entire field of medicine and scientific advances will come more quickly."