gene expression profiling
Thursday 20 November 2003
Gene expression profiling allow comparison of gene expression between normal and diseased (e.g., cancerous) cells.
Many biologists interpret changes in gene expression levels based on the fold ratio by which it has gone up or down between treatments. However, this is not a statistically valid approach, since it does not take into account the variability of that gene between replicates assigned the same treatment.
A fourfold change in the measured expression level of a gene that varies greatly between samples given the same treatment is probably not significant, whereas a 1.4-fold change in the measured expression of a tightly regulated gene could be very significant.
Biologists embarking on expression studies are strongly advised to consult with biostatisticians before starting work, in order to estimate how much replication is needed to obtain sufficient statistical power.
expression profiling in tumors
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