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In January 2005, the NARG finished analysis of the data returned from the participants of the 2004/2005 research project., Validation of Your Reverse Transcription Real-Time PCR Technique. Results were presented in talks by Scottie Adams and Brian Holloway at the research group presentation, “A Comparison of Real-time PCR Techniques, Chemistries, and Hardware in Laboratories Utilizing the Same Assay,” as well as in a poster, at ABRF 2005 in Savannah GA. The research group presentation was followed by a discussion on real-time PCR problems, led by Greg Shipley and Stephen Bustin. Deborah Grove chaired a round table discussion, Lawrence Wangh of Brandeis spoke on “LATE PCR and Allied Technologies,” and Reinhold Mueller of Stratagene discussed ”Process Considerations of Sample Preparation to Normalized Gene Expression Profiling.” Greg Shipley chaired a tutorial entitled ”Utilizing qPCR to Validate Microarray Results” with invited speakers Tim Hunter of the University of Vermont and Andrew Brooks of the University of Rochester. Titles of their talks were ”Validation of Microarray Data via Quantitative Real-Time PCR” and ”High-Throughput Real-Time PCR Approaches for Microarray Assessment and Target Validation.”
The group elected Deborah Grove of the Pennsylvania State University as new chair and welcomed Tim Hunter as a new member. The NARG thanks Brian Holloway of the Centers for Disease Control for his many years of service on the committee and transferred his status to ad hoc. Also, the group thanks Stephen Scaringe, ad hoc member, who has completed his membership on the committee.
The group is discussing ideas for the 2005/2006 NARG research project and will be pursuing possibilities of joining in projects suggested by FARG and DSRG as well as a project with MARG.
The PRG welcomes its newest members: Ewa Witkowska from the University of California, San Francisco and Nathan Yates from Merck Research Laboratories. We also thank outgoing member Karen West and outgoing chair Tom Neubert for their much appreciated service during the last two and three years, respectively. Chris Turck has generously agreed to stay on the PRG for a fourth year and will take over as Chair for the coming year.
This year’s PRG study to evaluate participants’ ability to determine the sequences of peptides de novo has been completed, and the results were presented at the ABRF ’05 meeting in Savannah in a talk by Brett Phinney and on a poster by the group. A mixture containing 3–6 pmol each of five synthetic peptides, the sequences of which were not present in any public database, was distributed to 106 requesting laboratories. Data were returned from 40 laboratories resulting in a 37% return rate. As is often the case, the study proved to be more difficult than anticipated by the PRG; de novo sequencing of proteins remains a substantial challenge. Results of the study as well as current information about the activities of the PRG can be found on the PRG web site at http://www.abrf.org/index.cfm/group.show/Proteomics.34.htm.