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Affymetrix Redefines Association Studies with Introduction of SNP 5.0 Array

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Affymetrix, Inc., has announced that its new single chip SNP 5.0 Array was made available as a limited release in December.

The array features single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the original two-chip 500K Array Set, as well as 500,000 additional probes that can measure other genetic differences, such as copy number variation.

According to Affymetrix, the SNP 5.0 Array can give researchers an increase in information above the original 500K Array Set by reducing the array processing time.

The Affymetrix SNP 5.0 Array was developed in collaboration with the Broad Institute of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to identify and understand the genetic variations associated with complex diseases such as autism, autoimmunity, bipolar disease, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists from the Autism Consortium and the Broad Institute are using the SNP 5.0 Array to perform the study on the genetics of autism.

“To understand the causes of complex genetic diseases, our investigators want simultaneously to test both SNPs and copy number variants, all in the same experiment. The new Affymetrix SNP 5.0 Array makes this possible, integrating what had previously required two separate technologies," said David Altshuler, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics at Broad.

"The SNP 5.0 Array not only draws on the most current data from the International HapMap Project to guide SNP assay design, but also from the rapidly emerging database of common copy number variants to direct placement of additional probes."

According to Company, the SNP 5.0 Array will be commercially available by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

Affymetrix is working with scientists from the Broad Institute to develop additional software tools for data analysis for the SNP 5.0 Array, as well as add additional SNPs to the next-generation SNP 6.0 Array that is scheduled to launch later this year.