Given the explosion of data coming from microarray experiments, it would be nice to have some form of standardization to enable scientists to compare data from one experiment to another. But there are two - probably insurmountable - problems: the use of different microarray systems, and the different protocols used in separate experiments.

In a commentary in Nature last week, authors from the European Bioinformatics Institute (Cambridge, U.K.) advocated the creation of a public database for microarray data to allow a concerted effort to study gene function and gene expression responses to therapeutic compounds. However, they acknowledged the potential hurdles.