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Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that it has for the first time released the chip design, probe sequence and annotation information for all of its microarrays. The release of this information is expected to improve cross-laboratory experimental research and cross-platform data comparison.

"Full release of the probe sequences is an admirable and responsible position for Agilent to take," said Catherine Ball, president of the Microarray Gene Expression Data (MGED) Society and director of the Stanford Microarray Database. "Rigorous science requires that others be able to easily interpret and verify or contradict one's work. With this sequence information, the research community will be better equipped to interpret data generated with Agilent arrays and to determine confidence in these data in future years, when genomic sequences may have been updated. In that sense, release of these sequences makes the results of experiments using Agilent arrays far more valuable."

This announcement is being made in conjunction with the extensive release of microarray experimental data into the public domain by the National Toxicology Program. Icoria Inc., under its contract with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), has been using Agilent microarrays to perform thousands of experiments to profile chemical effects on biological systems, thereby creating a vast resource of gene expression responses to chemical toxicants. The data will eventually be made available through the NIEHS National Center of Toxicogenomics' Chemical Effects on Biological Systems (CEBS) database, currently under development.

"The NIEHS National Center for Toxicogenomics is very pleased that Agilent has released the probe sequences for its gene expression microarrays to the public domain," said Michael Waters, Ph.D., assistant director for database development of the NCT. "The availability of these sequences will be of great benefit to the microa rray bioinformatics community and to databases such as the NCT's CEBS as we seek to make high-quality toxicogenomics data sets publicly available."

The microarray design and probe sequence information is now available on Agilent's eArray web portal at earray.chem.agilent.com. On the same site, customers can examine the content of Agilent-manufactured commercial microarrays and design their own custom microarrays. Agilent-manufactured microarrays are based on the industry-standard 1" x 3" slide format, making them readily and easily accessible to any researchers who want to achieve a high degree of sensitivity and precision in their experiments.


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