BioGPS Featured Article – Microarray characterization of gene expression changes in blood during acute ethanol exposure

BioGPS has become the valuable resource that it is because of the contributions from our wonderful user community. Thank you for contributing plugins, suggestions, and ideas–all of which have improved BioGPS for everyone. In order to celebrate the contributions of BioGPS users to the scientific research community, this series will feature publications and articles generated by BioGPS users. We sincerely hope you will join us in celebrating the fascinating work that YOU do.

This week, we will feature an article from the Functional Genomics group in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Aviation Medicine: Microarray characterization of gene expression changes in blood during acute ethanol exposure. by Doris M Kupfer, Vicky L White, David L Strayer, Dennis J Crouch, and Dennis Burian.

Dr. Dennis Burian, the Functional Genomics Team Lead, kindly answered our inquiries for this series.

  1. Who is the team behind the work that was published in Microarray characterization of gene expression changes in blood during acute ethanol exposure?.
    The Functional Genomics group in the FAA’s Office of Aviation Medicine has an expression marker discovery mandate. Our focus is factors that affect aviation safety such as sleep deprivation, mild hypoxia that occurs at commercial aircraft cabin pressures, and alcohol use. Our work will become an additional data point in aviation accident investigation, augmenting the toxicology analysis that already is in place.
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  3. What inspired the work published in Microarray characterization of gene expression changes in blood during acute ethanol exposure?
    This work arose from the observation that toxicology analysis is not always able to differentiate between alcohol that was ingested and post-mortem alcohol production from microbial sources.
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  5. Please provide a brief summary of the findings reported in your article, Microarray characterization of gene expression changes in blood during acute ethanol exposure.
    In short, we found the p38 MAPK pathway to be a key mediator of the physiological response to moderate alcohol ingestion. We also observed a definite hangover effect where numerous differentially expressed genes had not returned to baseline expression after blood alcohol content (BAC) had dropped below the LOD. Two putative markers whose expression levels track relatively well with BAC were identified.
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  7. How did the team learn about BioGPS?
    We have been using BioGPS as a means of sanity checking potential markers for tissue-specific expression since it was on Novartis. I believe a colleague told us about the service.
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  9. How did your team utilize BioGPS in this research?
    BioGPS was instrumental in our decision as to which markers to pursue into the validation phase of this study. It quickly allowed us to get another data point regarding the “normal” expression level of individual genes.
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  11. What are some future directions for the team behind this research?
    We have two manuscripts in preparation, one showing the gene and protein expression changes in blood in response to mild hypoxia, one demonstrating gene expression changes during 36 hours of sleep deprivation. In addition, a high school student in my lab made excellent use of BioGPS to determine tissue-specific expression of about 150 genes when designing a gene panel to investigate molecular stability in aviation accident victims by qPCR.

Thanks again to Dr. Dennis Burian for taking the time to answer our questions. We really look forward to the publication of the aforementioned manuscripts-in-prep. Click here to read their fascinating article. Have a look because these awesome researchers have made their compelling research open access–so you can read the whole exciting article for free!

Used BioGPS and cited it in your publication? Let us know! We would love to feature YOUR work, no matter how long ago it was published. BioGPS Featured Article Series only started recently, but we know your contributions to science is ongoing.


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