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Overview


The Canadian Drosophila Microarray Centre (CDMC)

The CDMC is a national microarray service for Canadian scientists working with Drosophila. There are two main objectives of this service:
1. To produce and provide Drosophila DNA microarrays on glass slides.
2. To provide a microarray experiment service facility where the scientist provides a sample of RNA (or DNA) to be tested and the service technician converts it to a labelled cDNA, hybridizes it to a microarray, scans it and performs the initial analysis.
Both the microarrays and the experiment service will be provided to Canadian researchers for a nominal cost.

In addition, the CDMC has or intends to:
3. Provide information and protocols for the use of the Drosophila microarrays.
4. Supply individual EST clones used to make the array for a nominal cost.
5. Support the creation and use of a Drosophila microarray experiment database.

The CDMC is federally funded with funds coming from both National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Genomics grant) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Multi-User Equipment and Maintenance grant).

Rationale for Having the CDMC
With the publication of the complete, annotated Drosophila genome sequence in March 2000, ninety years of research at the forefront of genetics and molecular genetics has come to fruition and Drosophila research thus moves now into the 'post-genome' era. Recent technological advances have allowed genome-wide analysis of such phenomena as gene function, gene expression and detection of genetic abnormalities and pathological states. One of the most powerful and exciting of these technologies is DNA array based parallel genome analysis, often commonly referred to as DNA microarrays or gene chips. At present, we are aware of only one major commercial microarray company (Affymetrix) that is selling Drosophila microarrays (gene chips) and is currently charging approximately $500 Cdn. per array (not including labeling reagents). To use the Affymetrix chips one requires approximately $300,000 Cdn. of proprietary equipment. In recent publications that have utilized microarrays, it is apparent that most studies perform tens and in some cases hundreds of pairs of analyses. Therefore, if Canadian scientists are to utilize microarray technology and compete on an international level, arrays have to be made available at a more affordable price.


 
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Westwood Lab 2001