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The origins of biological noise

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The study of noise in biological systems has emerged as one of the most important research topics in the last few years. Surprisingly large single-cell variability among cellular components including mRNAs and proteins has been found in numerous organisms. Its presence in both pro- and eukaryotic species ...

The study of noise in biological systems has emerged as one of the most important research topics in the last few years. Surprisingly large single-cell variability among cellular components including mRNAs and proteins has been found in numerous organisms. Its presence in both pro- and eukaryotic species attests to the universal relevance of noise.
Our understanding of the molecular origins of the wide distributions of expression levels has made significant progress. This is largely due to a fruitful dialogue between theoretical and practical studies and new experimental technologies that allow absolute quantification at single-cell level. More recently, the introduction of next-generation sequencing has made it possible to study factors that are involved in gene regulation in a genome-wide fashion. This has added a great deal of information about transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms.
The aim of this research topic is to explore and add to the current state of knowledge with regards to the origins of biological noise. Interesting subjects to address include, but are certainly not limited to, the causes of noise in light of transcriptional regulation and epigenetic modifications, noise in cellular components other then proteins and mRNA, mechanisms of the cell to cope with noise, the limits of information transfer within a cell, the interplay of network topology and noise.


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