This can be a dummy question, but I am not familiar with microarray experiments at all. In this image, what does each of 16 big squares mean, and what are the black intervals between them are? I know each small square corresponds to a gene expression value, but I don't know what each separated group of expression values means. Oftentimes I see those separated expression values in microarray dataset images. I would be happy if someone can explain. Thanks!
The borders provide visual cues for the image analysis software to know which spot is which. The spots are also not printed all at once, but by a series of print heads, and the spaces allow for a small amount of error in the alignment of the print heads. It also allows for humans to more easily eyeball the results - the chip map can be printed in groups, and if you're looking to see what gene X did in your experiment, and know it's in the 2nd row, in the 2nd block, row 8, column 4, you can find it more easily than just knowing it's in row 73, column 27.