Do-It-Yourself Gene Watching

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Science  15 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5439, pp. 444-447
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5439.444

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As the DNA sequences of more and more organisms have been decoded, researchers have begun to realize that at least as much information in genomes is devoted to controlling where and at what level genes are expressed as is devoted to defining proteins. Now the growing use of relatively inexpensive microarray devices to monitor the expression of thousands of genes at once is creating a flood of data on everything from strawberry ripening to viral pathogenicity (see sidebar). Traditional journals are finding it hard to accommodate all these data, however, and digital databases don't yet know how to handle it.