In a 2023 study, scientists dived into the world of gene expression, focusing on the intriguing concept of gene expression noise. Genes act as the blueprints for our bodies, and they must function precisely, similar to the way workers in an office must complete their tasks accurately.
Gene expression noise is like the occasional unpredictability in how genes carry out their instructions. Inside our cells, genes work to produce proteins, but sometimes they don't follow the script precisely. This inherent randomness in gene behavior is referred to as "gene expression noise." This study highlights that the location of genes in this network plays a crucial role. Some genes need to be precise because their errors affect the entire network, just as a disruptive colleague can impact the entire office. Others can be less precise because their mistakes have less impact.
I had the privilege of collaborating closely with one of the paper's authors to bring to life their concept of genes as workers connected by a network. The illustration portrays two scenarios within a group of genes. In the first scenario, a gene occupies a central position, and when it makes a mistake (produces noise), it affects all the other genes connected to it via cables, much like a noisy coworker disrupting others in a shared workspace. In the second scenario, a gene is positioned at the edge, and when it makes an error, it doesn't disrupt the entire office because it's not as central to the network.
Would you like to collaborate on a scientific illustration like this one?