PerspectiveCell Biology

Reconfiguring Regulation

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Science  02 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6072, pp. 1050-1051
DOI: 10.1126/science.1219303

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Cells adapt to changes in their environment by regulating the expression of multiple genes, but a deeper understanding of this phenomenon requires quantitative, genome-wide measurements of the abundance of different cellular components at high temporal resolution and under a large number of conditions. Technological advances have made it possible to monitor how this takes place from a systems biology perspective (15). Two papers in this issue—by Nicolas et al. on page 1103 (6) and Buescher et al. on page 1099 (7)—describe how the bacterium Bacillus subtilis achieves adaptation at an unprecedented level of detail and breadth.