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Impact of microarray technology in nutrition and food research.

Molecular nutrition & food research. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
Microarrays have become standard tools for gene expression profiling as the mRNA levels of a large number of genes can be measured in a single assay. Many technical aspects concerning microarray production and laboratory usage have been addressed in great detail, but it remains still crucial to establish this technology in new research fields such as human nutrition and food-related areas. The correlation between diet and inter-individual variation in gene expression is an important and relatively unexplored issue in human nutrition. Therefore, nutritionists changed their research field dramatically from epidemiology and physiology towards the "omics" sciences. Nutrigenomics as a field of research is based on the complete knowledge of the human genome and refers to the entire spectrum of human genes that determine the interactions of nutrition with the organism. Nutrigenetics is based on the inter-individual, genetically determined differences in metabolism. Nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics carry the hope that individualized diet can improve human health and prevent nutrition-related diseases. In this article we give an overview of current DNA and protein microarray techniques (including fabrication, experimental procedure and data analysis), we describe their applications to nutrition and food research and point out the limitations, problems and pitfalls of microarray experiments.
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