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Microarray Madness


Macro coverage of microarrays. It’s what Marian Moser Jones does for BioArray News on a weekly basis, and it’s what we’ve pulled together this month for you in GT. For our cover story, Marian and senior editor Aaron J. Sender tag-teamed the Affymetrix execs — with Marian flying out to tour Affy’s Santa Clara HQ and Sacramento manufacturing facility and Aaron burning up the transcontintental cables spending hours in phone interviews with Sue Siegel and Steve Fodor. Siegel and Fodor’s generosity with their time is a good example of the “new Affy openness” that Aaron and Marian report on.

As a counterpoint to our coverage of Affy’s new customer-service orientation, on the pages following the cover story we present the transcript of a rap session among some real, live GeneChip users. As you’ll see, not everyone has been bowled over yet by Affy’s affability.

For the true microarray maniac (all of you reading this at Chips to Hits this month), we also provide a peek at how some chip companies are tuning their technologies for diagnostics applications (p. 64); Nat Goodman’s thorough account of the state of microarray data analysis standards (p.86); and a pensive piece by Roger Bumgarner, director of the University of Washington’s Center for Expression Arrays, on how to make data meaningful (p. 104).

Gossip and Growth

This month we also introduce a few new features.

With backup from researchers Ted Tenthoff and Ellen Lubman, Michael King will enlighten you from now on about the financial performance of the GTI companies. We were thrilled to be able to recruit King, managing director for Robertson Stephens and close follower of the genomics industry, to be our GenoMoney columnist.

But we didn’t go looking for Jeanne C. Kwens. She found us. She wasn’t the first person to tell us we need a gossip column, but she was the first to offer to author it. She promises to let it all hang out in her new column, Unzipped.

We probably don’t need to point out that we made a few aesthetic changes to the magazine too. Maybe we’ve been infected by the fast-changing industry we cover, but we figured a year was long enough to wait for a redesign. All the changes you’ll see inside — most notably a new typeface and more white space — are aimed at making the magazine easier on your eyes. The new table of contents layout is fashioned to stay flexible as we continue to expand. One-hundred and eight pages is our biggest issue yet, but we hope not ever.

We’d like to hear what you think. So would our hard-working designers (see p. 12) who spent more than a few summer evenings (not to mention midnight hours) revamping our look. Did we go far enough? We’re all for continuous improvement if you’ve got requests.

Finally, one more debut to announce: After 275 days spent honing his knowledge of everything proteomic as a reporter, John MacNeil this month launches the latest in our fleet of weekly print newsletters: ProteoMonitor. The publication will be rolled out at TIGR’s GSAC meeting Oct. 25-28 (preview of that event, by the way, on p. 77). If you’ve got a mind for protein analysis, track John down at GSAC (we’re booth number 430) and share a piece of it with him.

Adrienne J. Burke, Editor in Chief

The Scan

Study Reveals Details of SARS-CoV-2 Spread Across Brazil

A genomic analysis in Nature Microbiology explores how SARS-CoV-2 spread into, across, and from Brazil.

New Study Highlights Utility of Mutation Testing in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

Genetic mutations in BRAF and RAS are associated with patient outcomes in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, a new JCO Precision Oncology study reports.

Study Points to Increased Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots in COVID-19 Patients

An analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that even mild COVID-19 increases risk of venous thromboembolism.

Y Chromosome Study Reveals Details on Timing of Human Settlement in Americas

A Y chromosome-based analysis suggests South America may have first been settled more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new PLOS One study.