Making the Most of Microarray Experiments

        Gary A. Churchill and M. Kathleen Kerr
   The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME

Spotted cDNA microarrays are emerging as a powerful and cost effective tool for large scale analysis of gene expression. Using this technology, the relative quantities of specific mRNAs in two or more tissue samples can be determined for thousands of genes simultaneously. From a statistical point of view, several interesting problems arise. One is how to obtain an estimate of error variation associated with an estimated change in expression, i.e., how to construct the error bars. A second problem is how to make indirect comparisons among samples that have not been directly assayed on the same array. We have developed unique experimental design and analysis methods for microarray experiments that address these problems and establish a framework for the analysis and interpretation of micorarray data.