Reviews

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Redoing the microarray analyses

[Galileo Galilei on a money note]Nature Genetics has recently published this interesting work on repeatability of gene expression analysis. That microarray is a powerful tool used for study a number of biological phenomena is nowadays obvious. As it is that a microarray study should be repeatable, being it an instance of the experimental approach the science is based on. So, those who try to verify the repeatability of such kind of experiments are certainly welcome (sorry for repetitions... ;-) ). Even when one considers only a part of it, as they do, by focusing on the possibility to redo the analysis, starting from the raw data or the processed ones (i.e.: normalised).

What we learn from the paper is, IMHO, that the situation is better than what one would have expected, but there is still quite room to improve.

They started from an initial list of 20 papers, they choose a single conclusion from each of them (i.e.: a single figure or table) and tried to come at the same one, by redoing the analysis reported. An important part of the test is that they purposely didn't contacted the original authors, rather they tried to get all what they needed from the paper and from the data published in ArrayExpress or GEO, hence exploiting the available data annotations.