My understanding of the gene chip, from the prospectus, is that they|
lay down a complementry DNA sequence on the chip, that incorporates
some type of fluorescent indicators. When the chip is treated with
the subject's DNA, if there is a match it will bind, no match- no bind.
The chip is then read by the scanner. The way it works, you can only
test your sample to see if it is a match to what is on the genechip. It
will not give sequence info or a fingerprint.
For example, there is the HIV chip- if the sample DNA has HIV code, then
it will bind and give a positive result. This isn't really as big a deal
for HIV, as they already have tests for it. But what about another example:
Blue eyes. Say for some absurd theoretical reason we cannot tell ht color
of some peoples' eyes. All you have to do is create a genechip with the code
for Blue eyes on it. Then you could tell if this person has Blue eye gene.
Stupid example, but the chip will allow you to test for other genetic code
in a simple "present/not present" fasion. Instead of running time consuming
electropheresis (I spell that right?), gene chips can be created to
test for specific genetic defects/diseases/code.
Right now I think the chips are too costly to be used widely. But within a few
years I think this will explode.
BTW, What the hell is going on with the markets today?! AFFX hit 11.5!