Author: A. S. Khan 1
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  • 1 US Army Research Development and Engineering Command, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, USA 21010-5424
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Genomics provided biomedical scientists an inventory of all genes and sequences present in a living being. This provides an unique opportunity to the scientists to predict and study biological functions of these genes. The changes in the gene expression regulated by genomic sequences therefore reflect changes in the molecular processes working in a cell or tissue in response to external factors including exposure to toxic compounds and pathogens. Microarray offers a biotechnological revolution with the help of DNA chemistry, silicon chip technology and optics to be used to monitor gene expression for thousands of genes in one single experiment. Briefly, 20,000 to 100,000 unique DNA molecules get applied by a robot to the surface of silicon wafers (approximately the size of a microscope slide). Using a single microarray experiment, the expression level of 20,000 to 100,000 genes will be examined in one single experiment.  Genomics and microarray have a significant role and impact on the design and development of modern detection and diagnostic tools in several different ways. Microarray tools are now used on regular basis for monitoring gene expression of large number of genes and also frequently applied to DNA sequence analysis, immunology, genotyping, and molecular diagnosing. For diagnostics, these tools can be used to distinguish and differentiate between different DNA fragments that differ by as little as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). These microarrays can be divided based on the gene density spots that will be high density (≯10,000 spots) per slide, medium (<1000≯100) and low density (<100). High-density arrays have proven to be very useful in disease diagnosis especially in diagnosis and classification of different types of cancers. These microarray tools hold tremendous potential for pathogen detection, which will be comprised, of unique sets of genes (also referred to as “signatures”) able to unambiguously identify the species and strain of pathogens of interest.

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