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Transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq has emerged as a high-throughput, cost-effective means to evaluate the expression pattern of genes in organisms. Unlike other methods, such as microarrays or quantitative PCR, RNA-seq is a target free method that permits analysis of essentially any RNA that can be amplified from a cell or tissue. At its most basic, RNA-seq can determine individual gene expression levels by counting the number of times a particular transcript was found in the sequence data. Transcript levels can be compared across multiple samples to identify differentially expressed genes and infer differences in biological states between the samples. We have used this approach to examine gene expression patterns in chicken and human cells, with particular interest in determining response to heat stress.

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