With the advancement of technology, there is an immense amount of information that is available on multiple expression levels of a vast number of genes obtained through high density cDNA microarrays, a platform that allows high throughput analysis of tissue samples.
The recent advances in the study of human molecular genetics have shown that mechanisms involved in gene-based disease can be crucial. Studies are now using large numbers of clinical specimens in the research of new diagnostic and prognostic markers to help translate the new discoveries from basic sciences to application in clinical practice.
Formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks are now widely used in all fields of study. The routine processing of tissues from post-mortem, surgery, and biopsy has led to a vast collection of specimens that represent various diseases and its different stages.
Run on assays have mostly been replaced by Global Run on assays that utilize next generation DNA sequencing as a readout platform. Known as next generation sequencing or GRO-Seq, they provide a much-detailed view of genes that are engaged in transcription while also providing quantitative levels of expression.
Many current literatures have demonstrated TMAs using paraffin medium and FFPE blocks for most studies due to the ease of specimen availability, long term storage, and cost-effectiveness for specimens. The TMA platform is an unparalleled tool to optimize assay and adapt novel molecular assays to archival paraffin tissues which are still a large and relatively untapped molecular repository. The remarkable value of TMA applications has been the efficiency and accuracy in the detection of clinicopathologic associations in a wide variety of diseases. The portability of this technique has also played a vital role in the widespread use of it and will continue to drive TMA applications.
DNA and RNA extraction has played important and crucial roles in helping researchers and scientists to manipulate molecular biology analysis to have a better understanding in the biology of the earth. Due to the rapid advancement of technology, DNA and RNA extraction has improved vastly however, weaknesses of the instruments should be bettered constantly by conducting quality control as it affects all subsequent results.
FFPE is a great commodity to the research and medical field as it is an inexpensive and easy way to store and archive tissue specimens. It also preserves the integrity of the specimen for a long time and can therefore be used retrospectively in many studies which reduces the time needed to track down specific tissues that fit the criteria of the study.