The microarray core facility has been recently featured in "Sammen mot kreft" ("Together against cancer") - the magazine of the Norwegian Cancer society. Ola Myklebost and Leonardo Meza-Zepeda are here interviewed about the 10 year anniversary of the Cancer Society-funded Microarray Facility and their upcoming project of identifying novel mutations in osteosarcomas by use of new state of the art equipment for direct reading of the entire genetic code of the tumours.
Microarrays are small measuring devices consisting of a small plate or "chip" containing thousands to millions of specific nucleic acid molecules in an array pattern, which can be used to measure some kind of complementary molecules in complex mixtures such as extracts from cells, tissues or tumours. Typical examples are measurement of the activity of all genes and copy number or sequence variation along all chromosomes.
The Microarray Facility at (then) Radiumhospitalet was initiated in the fall of 1998 by groups at the Department for Tumour Biology who got funding from the hospital Research Board to buy their first set of gene clones and start building a arraying robot. Together with the University of Trondheim (NTNU) we got funding from the Cancer Society to make two national facilities for production of microarrays for Norwegian scientists, which led to the formation of the Norwegian Microarray Consortium (NMC), also including the University of Bergen. Since 2002 the NMC has been running the national Technology Plaform for Microarray Technology under the FUGE program, and is an advanced service facility for the Norwegian scientific community.
For many microarray applications the traditional read-out through fluorescence intensities from hybridised samples ois now being replaced by direct sequencing in a microarray format. This also opens entire new research fields, such as sequencing entire tumour genomes. The NMC has started the establishment of these technologies, which are expected to be up and running later this year.
The article in "Sammen mor kreft" (in Norwegian):
"Skal lage «bok» over alle krefttyper" (in PDF format)