News of the WeekMolecular Biology

DNA Chips Give New View of Classic Test

Science  01 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5398, pp. 17-18
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5398.17

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By now you would think that cell biologists knew everything there is to know about how fibroblast cells in culture respond to serum after being deprived of it. But work described on page 83 shows that you would be wrong. The standard view has been that serum's growth factors and other nutrients switch on the fibroblasts' cell proliferation program. But by using a DNA chip that allowed them to monitor more than 8600 genes at once, researchers have now found that serum not only stimulates cell division, but also turns on genes needed in wound healing. Indeed, the cells behave in culture much as if they were still in intact tissue, opening the way, researchers say, to using the chips to study such complex issues as cell-to-cell interactions.