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Agilent Debuts RNA Integrity Database for Free Sharing of RNA Profiles


Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that its unique RNA Integrity Database is now online and accessible to the genomics community free of charge. Because RNA quality-control criteria are defined experimentally, this repository of shared data from Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer users can eliminate the need to repeat validation experiments, saving significant time and money.

In addition to having free access, users needn't register to avail themselves of this Web-based resource. A validated Agilent bioanalyzer user can contribute data either as an individual, as an organization or anonymously, and the usefulness of the database will increase over time as more entries are uploaded. At launch, the repository is populated with 650 total RNA profiles that extend across human, mouse, rat, and several plant species and tissues.

Now, scientists can access an open repository containing total RNA electropherograms generated by Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzers. These include such metadata as RNA source, extraction method, RNA Integrity Number and downstream experiment quality data.

User privacy is assured, and Agilent scientists will initially curate the data to assure high content quality and relevance until an external curation team is defined in the coming months.

Agilent partnered with Asterand Inc. of Detroit, Mich., in the U.S. and Genotypic Technology Ltd. in India to provide the initial content for the RNA Integrity Database. Through the partnership, Asterand made available hundreds of high-quality bioanalyzer profiles corresponding to 32 human tissue types from their extensive tissue bank. Genotypic scientist Sudha Narayana Rao, Ph.D., vice-president, R&D, contributed tissues and cell line electropherograms from many species commonly used for microarray screening.

"Total RNA quality control for gene expression has evolved extraordinarily over the last five years, and some key challenges still exist," said Agilent's Marc Valer, microfluidics program manager in genomics. "RNA profiles from different sources are unique, as are quality criteria for different expression quantitation techniques. Until now, almost every lab had to create and maintain repositories for internal reference. We developed the RNA Integrity Database to solve these problems by housing a shared database."

The Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer has become the industry standard for RNA sample quality control and has largely replaced time-consuming gel electrophoresis in this application. The RNA Integrity Database contributes to the expansion of microfluidics techniques for sample QC by expanding on another benefit of the integrated digital results: easy sharing and querying of results.

The database provides "Good/Degraded" profiles for each RNA sample combination and also provides a forum for discussing RNA profiles. Scientists conducting gene expression sample QC will be able to easily validate in-house with peer results and also pre-screen methods of RNA isolation for specific tissue types, saving money and time and gaining extra confidence in their results.

Source: Agilent Technologies