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Jan 23 2012

NYIT Researchers Scan Frontiers of Genetic Research

Dr. David Tegay and Dr. Linda Friedman with new microarray scanner

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (January 23, 2012) ─ A new piece of equipment at NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) is giving medical researchers a clearer picture – literally – of the future of genetic exploration.
The unassuming gray-colored scanner tucked in the corner of a first-floor laboratory allows researchers to examine a high-resolution treasure trove of genetic material on just one slide.
“This is the high-def TV of microarray scanners,” said David Tegay, D.O., associate professor of medicine and clinical geneticist.  “It gives researchers here great opportunity and control over the direction of their research and greater independence to perform new cutting-edge molecular studies.”
Tegay is researching genetic variations that might increase the risk of developing neurologic diseases, like Parkinson’s Disease, while his colleague, Linda Friedman, Ph.D., an associate professor of neuroscience, is examining data on gene expression in seizures in her research on epilepsy.
Both scientists lauded the new machine’s effect on their research. Friedman recalled the painstaking manual work required to analyze and identify data using an older model scanner at another school. Tegay said it could take 30 experiments in the past to gather the same data that the new machine allows him to obtain with just one experiment.  He added that compared to the scanner he previously used at NYCOM, the capacity to generate more and higher quality data “has increased exponentially” because of the new machine’s higher resolution.
“Having the ability to look at not just some of the things that you hypothesize are important but to get a fuller picture of all the data is essential in moving forward more rapidly in research,” he said.
The scanner’s accompanying software allows researchers to compare samples of DNA and other genetic material on microarray slides available commercially from biotech companies. Tegay and his colleagues can discover detailed information about particular genes or genetic regions by comparing and measuring results generated after they apply special dyes and techniques to microarrays containing up to 1 or 2 million distinct genetic features.
“That has important implications in diagnosing and predicting risk for many medical conditions and can lead to new ideas about treatment,” said Tegay.
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
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