Gene expression profiling of the brain: pondering facts and fiction.
During the last decade brain transcriptome profiling by DNA microarrays has matured, developed sound experimental design standards, reporting practices, analytical procedures, and data sharing resources. It has become a powerful scientific tool in the exploratory research portfolio. Along this journey by trial and error, we encountered a number of intriguing questions and comments–pondering the value of hypothesis-driven research, appropriate sample size, the importance and interpretation of transcripts changes vis-à-vis protein changes, the role of statistical stringency, false discovery and magnitude of expression change, and many other interesting questions. Our field fully acknowledges and tries to address all of these challenges associated with high-throughput, data-driven transcriptomics. As a research field, we strongly advocate implementing the highest standards of our trade, and we deeply believe that transcriptome profiling studies will continue to be essential for deciphering the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to complex brain disorders.
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