The flexibility of the NanoString® nCounter® platform has been designed to accommodate a wide range of organisms, molecular targets, and sample inputs. Researchers can request “made-to-order” Custom CodeSets for up to 800 project-specific mRNA targets. In doing so, they can take advantage of the sensitivity of direct, digital detection for their genes of interest at a fraction of the time and cost it takes to sequence a whole transcriptome. Gene expression assays without reverse transcription (RT) or amplification can even be fully customized to validate translational data generated orthogonally in species other than humans.

Applications in Animal Research —

Transcriptomics has been extensively employed in animal research to yield deeper insights into the biology of model organisms or domestic and companion animals. By incorporating targeted profiling into your research, you can query a specific set of biologically-, functionally-, and clinically-relevant signatures. You can also readily pick out the top candidate genes that allow you to discriminate between different expression patterns. Taking a more focused approach to gene expression profiling can help optimize model organism studies and at the same time offer a rapid yet thorough examination of developmental biology, human disease pathogenesis and pathology, and clinical drug efficacy. It can also support the design of reliable and representative animal models that accurately recapitulate human disease. In veterinary medicine, targeted assays can help detect disease-associated expression changes that specifically plague our beloved companion animals and highlight the predisposition and response to disease of specific breeds. All this accumulated knowledge can be harnessed together to devise targeted and actionable care strategies for veterinary medicine.

Applications in Agriculture Research —

The ever-increasing demands of a growing global population necessitate a concurrent increase in agricultural productivity to maintain an uninterrupted supply of abundant and nutritious food. The pressure for a sustainable food supply is further exacerbated by the deterioration of natural resources due to climate change, environmental factors, and microbial pathogens. Researchers are better equipped to address this challenge by pursuing a multipronged approach to gene expression profiling, leveraging next generation sequencing capabilities along with targeted transcriptional assays to discover new biomarkers and use them to understand how to improve agricultural yield. By cataloging the expression of genes underlying key agronomic traits you can select for phenotypically-superior and economically-desired traits in food and cash crops. You can also profile for transcriptional signatures of disease and stress to enhance animal and plant welfare, fitness, and resilience. A hypothesis and data-driven approach — through targeted transcriptomics — can prove effective to discover and screen for desirable traits in animal and agricultural research. Check out NanoString’s Custom Solutions to learn how you can tailor the content of your gene expression assays to best fit your translational research needs.

Posted by Amal Katrib