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Scientifica
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 437956, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.6064/2012/437956
Review Article

Genome-Scale Technology Driven Advances to Research into Normal and Malignant Haematopoiesis

Department of Haematology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Cambridge University and Wellcome Trust and MRC Stem Cell Institute, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0XY, UK

Received 30 September 2012; Accepted 16 December 2012

Academic Editors: J. L. Badano, F. Chiarini, J. Kennell, T. Te Kronnie, H.-Y. Wang, and G. Zafarana

Copyright © 2012 Berthold Göttgens. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Haematopoiesis or blood development has long served as a model system for adult stem cell biology. Moreover, when combined, the various cancers of the blood represent one of the commonest human malignancies. Large numbers of researchers have therefore dedicated their scientific careers to studying haematopoiesis for more than a century. Throughout this period, many new technologies have first been applied towards the study of blood cells, and the research fields of normal and malignant haematopoiesis have also been some of the earliest adopters of genome-scale technologies. This has resulted in significant new insights with implications ranging from basic biological mechanisms to patient diagnosis and prognosis and also produced lessons likely to be relevant for many other areas of biomedical research. This paper discusses the current state of play for a range of genome-scale applications within haemopoiesis research, including gene expression profiling, ChIP-sequencing, genomewide association analysis, and cancer genome sequencing. A concluding outlook section explores likely future areas of progress as well as potential technological and educational bottlenecks.