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Within the past three years a variety of new instruments and new chemistries have emerged and have found their way into core facilities. Some of these have replaced older platforms to become the major players for running fragment analysis applications. Because researchers who wish to collaborate on genotyping projects may use different equipment and reagents to process their samples, it is desirable to update our knowledge on the characteristics of the different methods and instruments currently in use in the core facilities. Based on such a need, the Fragment Analysis Research Group (FARG) has designed the current FARG study to continue exploring the range of variation in data that may be due to the methods for collection and analysis.
Designed as a mock “crime scene investigation,” the 2004 FARG study involves running, analyzing, and reporting data from a set of 11 samples supplied to the participants who are invited to solve the mystery and name the suspects that match the sample found at the “crime scene.” The results will be collected using an online datasheet, and FARG will report the percentage of entries correctly identifying the “perpetrator.” The size data for the seven loci reported for two of the samples will be analyzed, and FARG will investigate whether size variation for each allele can be correlated with the components used to produce the data (e.g., instrumentation, chemistries, internal lane standard). Laboratories wishing to participate in this study should contact Caprice Rosato (ude.etatsnogero.ecneics@cotasor).
A manuscript outlining the results from the 2003 FARG Study/Survey (Current Trends in Fragment Analysis) is in progress for submission to JBT. Two tutorials from the 2003 ABRF meeting on the topic of Mutation Detection by Single Base Extension methods are being finalized for posting on the website, and a manuscript describing the FARG 2002 study on Multiplex PCR is also near completion.