[Slonim DK, Yanai I (2009) Getting Started in Gene Expression Microarray Analysis. PLoS Comput Biol 5(10): e1000543.]
Full Text: http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1000543
Gene expression microarrays provide a snapshot of all the transcriptional activity in a biological sample. Unlike most traditional molecular biology tools, which generally allow the study of a single gene or a small set of genes, microarrays facilitate the discovery of totally novel and unexpected functional roles of genes. The power of these tools has been applied to a range of applications, including discovering novel disease subtypes, developing new diagnostic tools, and identifying underlying mechanisms of disease or drug response. However, this technology necessarily produces a large amount of data, challenging us to interpret it by exploiting modern computational and statistical tools. In this brief review, we aim to indicate the major issues involved in microarray analysis and provide a useful starting point for new microarray users. Figure 1 outlines the steps in a typical expression microarray experiment and maps them to the different sections of this review.