An Overview of RNA Assays

From News-Medical.net by Sarah Moore

The collection of RNA molecules in a cell, known as the transcriptome, holds the key to a wealth of useful information. It can tell us where genes are turned on and off, as well as uncovering to what extent the gene is active. RNA sequencing is a method that allows scientists to look into the transcriptome of a cell and acquire this information. Assays that carry out RNA sequencing have advantages over previous methods of investigating gene expression such as Sanger sequencing and microarray-based methods because they provide a higher resolution and greater coverage of the transcriptome. In addition to gaining insight into the gene expression within cells of tissues and organs, these assays can identify novel transcripts and find alternatively spliced genes, as well as uncovering allele-specific expression.

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