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Flip-flopping gene expression can be advantageous
Date:11/26/2007

ight thrive in a given environmental condition; however, the less advantageous phenotype could come in handy if the environmental conditions unexpectedly changed. By having both phenotypes, the chances would be better that the best one will be present when needed.

Researchers in many labs recently have demonstrated that gene expression can be surprisingly random. The framework established in the UCSD study evaluates how such noisy gene expression affects the properties of developing cellular colonies, such as the progression of bacterial infections or the growth of a population of cancerous cells.

The PNAS paper also documented that the time it takes for a population of cells to reach a stable variance depends on the initial growth conditions and how easily those conditions support cell growth.

Different results can emerge depending on how cells are grown, said Jeff Hasty, a professor of bioengineering at UCSD and senior author of the paper. Our results should allow all researchers studying bacteria to better understand the variability they routinely see from one experiment to the next.


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Contact: Rex Graham
ragraham@ucsd.edu
858-822-3075
University of California - San Diego  
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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