A basic, yet challenging task in the analysis of microarray gene expression data is the identification of changes in gene expression that are associated with particular biological conditions. We discuss different approaches to this task and illustrate how they can be applied using software from the Bioconductor Project. A central problem is the high dimensionality of gene expression space, which prohibits a comprehensive statistical analysis without focusing on particular aspects of the joint distribution of the genes expression levels. Possible strategies are to do univariate gene-by-gene analysis, and to perform data-driven nonspecific filtering of genes before the actual statistical analysis. However, more focused strategies that make use of biologically relevant knowledge are more likely to increase our understanding of the data.


Bioinformatics | Computational Biology | Genetics | Microarrays | Numerical Analysis and Computation