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Biolog Publishes Details of Phenotype Microarray Technology in Genome Research

NEW YORK, June 26 - Scientists at cell-based assay developer Biolog have published results describing the function of genes in E. coli using the company's phenotype microarray technology, the company said Tuesday.

The technology allows researchers to compare two cell lines, one with and one without a modification in its genes, and measure the change in phenotype using a colorimetric indicator of cell respiration. Researchers at Biolog introduce cell suspensions into standard well plates, along with specific chemistry assays.

The research appears in the July issue of Genome Research , an academic journal published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 

In the paper, the authors describe the use of this technology to monitor about 700 cellular properties by analyzing about 300 pathways of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur metabolism, 100 biosynthetic pathways, and 300 processes that are sensitive to toxic chemicals.

Biolog, based in Hayward, Calif., says the phenotype microarray technology is capable of measuring hundreds to thousands of cellular properties simultaneously, according to a company statement. In addition to studying gene function, the technique also has applications in optimizing and validating drug targets, and assessing cell toxicology.

Although Biolog says the technique is currently available only for use with bacterial and fungal cells, the company is working on developing similar assays for use with mammalian cells.

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