Molecular biologists are focused on understanding the interactions that occur between molecules inside a cell as well as learning how these interactions are regulated. The regulation of gene expression, for example, is known to affect cell structure and function, and as a result influence cellular differentiation and morphogenesis. By modulating the different steps involved in gene expression, researchers can gain a better understanding of how genes are regulated and how that regulation influences cell structure and function.
DNA microarrays are an ideal tool for this type of research, particularly for gene expression profiling studies. Each microarray consists of a series of thousands of spots of specific DNA sequences, so a single experiment can test a number of variables in parallel. These experiments are generally analyzed by detection of a labeled target, most often via fluorescence.
DNA microarrays can also help scientists understand the relationship between chromosome abnormalities and biological conditions such as disease or developmental abnormalities. This is generally done with a technique called array-based comparative genomics hybridization (aCGH).
Another type of microarray, protein microarrays, help researchers study molecular interactions, including protein-protein or enzyme-substrate interactions, transcription factor activation, or the interaction between a target and a biologically active small molecule. Similar to DNA arrays, protein arrays consist of spots of a series of proteins or capture probes for proteins and give researchers the ability to study a number of variables in parallel.
Other bioanalytical instruments and equipment -microplate readers, imaging systems, label-free systems-can also be used to study gene expression and molecular interactions. These systems are critically important for cell-based assays, transfection studies, pathway analyses, and more.
In addition to molecular biology instruments, software, and equipment, and its full line of microarray scanners, Molecular Devices provides a range of additional detection technologies, such as microplate readers, high content and research imaging products, and the label-free systems, to support molecular biology. Please use the links below to learn more.
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