As a part of its thematic focus for the month of July, PLoS ONE announced a call for papers addressing gene expression studies. It appears that the gene expression community has already embraced PLoS ONE in a great style - here appears the authoritative and insightful review [by Charles Auffray] of one of the gene expression articles published by PLoS ONE: ‘High throughput gene expression measurement with real time PCR in a microfluidic dynamic array’. Interestingly, Auffray’s is the 100th evaluation of PLoSONE articles at the Faculty of 1000 Biology.
Below is the simplified version of Charles Auffray’s evaluation of the article. Full evaluation can be read at F1000Biology website.
‘The novel microfluidic device described in this paper transforms real-time quantitative PCR into a much higher throughput technology for gene expression measurement. The authors have used a dynamic array of microfluidic channels, valves and nanoliter reaction chambers to perform simultaneously 2304 real-time qPCR assays, monitoring expression of 45 human genes in 18 tissues with very high sensitivity (down to <10 RNA molecules). The results presented compare very well with those obtained with conventional microliter RT-PCR, outperforming DNA microarrays. Miniaturization and parallelization result in faster delivery of results with much less reagents and handling. This technological advance should prove useful for validation of expression profile signatures obtained with microarrays, and their extensive use for diagnosis and prognosis. In order to compete directly with microarrays for transcriptome analysis, the number of genes that can be assayed in parallel would have to be increased by at least two orders of magnitude’.
Of its 2600 articles in PubMED, one hundred (4%) articles have been already evaluated and commented upon by F1000 Members. For a broad based and high volume journal such as PLoS ONE, the F1000 evaluations constitute important quality indexes for individual articles apart from hundreds of articles already reviewed through PLoS ONE’s unique rating and discussion tools and journal clubs which are fully compliant to the cutting edge concepts of Science 2.0. Such 'article level metrics' are especially relevant when the significance of a popular bibliometric index, the 'impact factor' is increasingly being questioned.
Conflict of interest: I volunteer as Section Editor of PLoS ONE and as a Faculty Member at F1000 Biology and F1000 Medicine.