standardization in microarray analysis software industry

scouting for the right software for the microarray analysis software , kept me thinkng why despite these software being used by scores or scientists no one has come forward to create what can be called as a standard for such software, the confusion rains in this field as one company’s software data do not work with another one and vice versa, For an industry like biology and drug discovery  that is trying to benefit from the knowledge of mathematics statitics and chemistry physics inability to port data across platform is a serious roadblock. there are standards such as MIAMe and MAGE but these are just data standards, not for softwares, I believe ther should be  something similar to ISO standards, SEI CMI etc.

majority of the newsgroup and forums are used by graduate and at times senor researchers to find out which is the best software to be used, I thought of starting a wiki page where researchers can post their comments and rate the products and compare the features against each other,

can open source ideals begin to give a real answer to biotech’s future

would it be possible to adopt the ideals of the open source in microarray development, there has been many research works that can be hailed as open source ideals in the biotechnology space, human genome project can be the perfect example, But apart from the few attempts by academia and non profits institutions there havnt been many attempts to look at this as a way forward, Microarray development can be termed as a lucrative field where such a coalition would accrue great benefits, By releasing the research works for others for free of cost it is possible to bring down the cost of microarray, there is no doubt that it would benefit the new research frontiers such as pharmacogenomics and toxicogenomics, by reducing the cost per array closer to any to other screening test currently adopted in hospitals or used by forensic labs. Microarray can also be used for reducing the costly PCR technique by closing in on a more focused number of genes to amplify from But it would mean that there has to be enough researchers out there who will be buying theses product in the first stage itself so as the company involved i such an audacious attempt would recover its cost and make profits to continue further work, thats a major hurdle to overcome, as custom microarray or at times even the existing one may not be useful to every researcher even if they are working on the same genome for example one person may be in toxicology research and the other in ecology or pure genetics even if they work on same genome the controls required and number of gene of interest would vary vastly across the spectrum, it may take a long time for the open source ideals to bear any fruit in this arena but that may be the way forward to bring meaningful results with less cost, till outsourcing can be a start for all things to come

 Abin paul Xavier

benefit by outsourcing your custom array projects

new companies in India can do the otherwise costly custom microarray projects with much reduced price and as one of the most expensive part of the custom projects are the design of the custom oligo and its synthesis companies who can outsource these works to india;s postdocs and postgraduates in statics and informatic and biotech can save a lot these cost for the researchers, A new host of companies such as ocimum biosolutions  are doing just this. For example the Institute of Bioinformatics a non-profit organisation set up by the ‘The Genomics Research Trust’ in collaboration with the University of Hopkins at the International Tech Park, Whitefield, Bangalore. Other companies like Ocimum Biosolutions has worked with instituoins like NIH and CDC and has also proved itself by taking over companies like MWG biotech’s microarray division and Isogen life science for modified Oligo and now offers microarrays oligo and research services apart form LIMS

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