Until recently, researchers lacked the technology to examine the genetic components of a disease at such a high-level of detail. By utilizing the Affymetrix 500K Arrays, the study’s researchers rapidly produced a genetic map of each brain tissue sample and isolated the GAB2 gene relatively quickly.
“This Alzheimer's disease breakthrough is another powerful example of a fundamental life science discovery made by an Affymetrix customer. Our latest microarray technology continues to accelerate research at an unprecedented pace by enabling scientists to better identify the specific genetic variations associated with complex diseases,” said Kevin King, President of Life Sciences Business and Executive Vice President at Affymetrix.
In addition to surveying an unprecedented number of genetic markers in each person’s DNA, the researchers capitalized on extremely rigorous criteria to determine whether or not their volunteers had Alzheimer’s. For instance, the study included more than 1000 brain donors confirmed to either have Alzheimer’s disease or be free of the disorder at autopsy. This study resulted in a comprehensive set of high-quality data to be made publicly available to the research community. The researchers believe that deposition of this data set in the public domain will open a new era in Alzheimer research. When a scientist suspects a particular gene or pathway maybe implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, they will use these data to see if there is genetic evidence supporting their idea. Reviewing these data in an hour will permit them to save months of work and thousands of dollars to achieve the same result. Moreover, it paves the way for even more advanced studies using larger sample populations, more powerful array chips that can distinguish more genetic markers, and more sophisticated methods of analyzing the data.
Source:The Translational Genomics Research Institute