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Small-Molecule Microarrays

More About Small Molecule Microarray

One technique for screening small molecules uses glass slides that have been machine-printed with an array of dots, each dot containing different small molecules. This is known as a small molecule microarray. Each slide contains 12,000 small dots, corresponding to 12,000 different small molecules. The slides are then washed with a single known protein that has been tagged with a fluorescent marker. If the protein binds with a small molecule on the slide, it will glow, indicating that the small molecule contained in that particular dot is a potentially useful one for studying that particular protein function.

Small Molecule Microarray Background

Microarray technology was originally developed for putting small spots of DNA onto a glass slide. But the technology is generally applicable to transferring any type of chemical in small quantities to a glass slide. One application of microarray technology is the small molecule microarray, in which thousands of different small molecules are placed on a glass slide. To see how this is done, view the video clip named “Making a Small Molecule Microarray.”


HHMI's 2002 Holiday Lectures on Science "Scanning Life's Matrix: Genes, Proteins and Small Molecules"

Small Molecule Microarray Teaching Tips

The animations in this section have a wide variety of classroom applications. Use the tips below to get started but look for more specific teaching tips in the near future. Please tell us how you are using the animations in your classroom by sending e-mail to biointeractive@hhmi.org.

  1. Use the animations to make abstract scientific ideas visible and concrete.

  2. Explain important scientific principles through the animations. For example, the biological clocks animations can be used to demonstrate the fundamentals of transcription and translation.

  3. Make sure that students learn the material by repeating sections of the animations as often as you think necessary to reinforce underlying scientific principles. You can start, restart, and play back sections of the animations.

  4. Urge students to use the animations in accordance with their own learning styles. Students who are more visually oriented can watch the animations first and read the text later, while others might prefer to read the explanations first and then view the graphics.

  5. Incorporate the animations into Web-based learning modules that you create to supplement your classroom curricula.

  6. Encourage students to incorporate the animations into their own Web-based projects.

Small Molecule Microarray Credits

Director: Dennis Liu, Ph.D.

Scientific Direction: Stuart L. Schreiber, Ph.D.

Scientific Content: Satoshi Amagai, Ph.D.

Animator: Eric Keller

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