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      Stochasticity in gene expression: from theories to phenotypes.

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          Abstract

          Genetically identical cells exposed to the same environmental conditions can show significant variation in molecular content and marked differences in phenotypic characteristics. This variability is linked to stochasticity in gene expression, which is generally viewed as having detrimental effects on cellular function with potential implications for disease. However, stochasticity in gene expression can also be advantageous. It can provide the flexibility needed by cells to adapt to fluctuating environments or respond to sudden stresses, and a mechanism by which population heterogeneity can be established during cellular differentiation and development.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nat Rev Genet
          Nature reviews. Genetics
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1471-0056
          1471-0056
          Jun 2005
          : 6
          : 6
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H8M5, Canada. mkaern@uottawa.ca
          Article
          nrg1615
          10.1038/nrg1615
          15883588
          8e12bd92-e732-4cc7-961b-af3551485a19
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