Small Numbers of Big Molecules

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Science  16 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5584, pp. 1129-1131
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075988

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Is the regulation of gene expression in a cell a random (stochastic) process? In an ambitious Perspective, Fedoroff and Fontana explore a new study (Elowitz et al.) that provides experimental evidence for stochasticity in bacterial gene expression. They reflect on the importance of stochastic processes for the evolution and adaptation of organisms.