Almost all cells in the body have the same set of genes. However, only a small fraction of the genes can be used at a time. This pattern of gene expression distinguishes muscles. It, for example, makes muscle cells different from liver cells. Gene expression is a process that converts your DNA instructions into a functional product.
Gene expression is dynamic. The same gene may act differently under different circumstances. If, for example, there are two organisms with the same genotypes and different phenotypes, there may be a few reasons for the phenotypic variation.
A difference in the gene expression regulation may be the cause. By studying gene expression, scientists can use this and other relevant information to answer important biological questions. You can discover gene signatures with ROSALIND. Here are a few reasons why scientists study gene expression.
Indicates Biological Activity
Gene expression is a biological activity indicator, and it can be used in many modern applications and processes. Most biological activities are reflected by changing gene expression patterns. Scientists can analyze gene expressions to determine the important genes that relate to specific biological processes.
Scientists have successfully used gene profiles to determine how toxic compounds can be in humans. This is important in preclinical drug assessments. Even though it may be difficult to distinguish important regulatory genes that are involved in biological processes directly, gene expression can be great for determining the mechanism of action or mechanisms of toxicity of novel compounds.
Used With Other Technologies
Scientists may study gene expression to determine its use with other technologies. It can improve or facilitate their functionality. When combined with knockout models or iRNA, for example, gene expression can be a great tool. It can help scientists create putative pathway associations or identify the mechanisms of specific biological activities.
The data obtained from gene expression can help scientists evaluate biology through Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) discovery, or proteomic technology.
Linking Chemical Profiles With Gene Expression Profiles
For some time, scientists have been studying gene expression in an attempt to connect chemical profiles with gene expression profiles through chemogenomics. The cost of accessing gene expression data has subsided, and it is now possible to analyze huge amounts of data. Scientists can now evaluate the chemicals involved in biological systems efficiently.
Predicting Biological Outcomes
With the data from microarray-based gene expression, scientists can predict biological outcomes. They can predict how organisms respond to chemical compounds or external factors, disease-related prognosis, and more. Most predictions of biological outcomes depend on huge amounts of data. With limited data, it may be impossible to establish predictive or reliable algorithms.
Better Understanding of Diseases
About ten years ago, scientists understood gene expression one gene at a time. They could only point out a few genes that cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Because of ongoing studies and research, they can now identify thousands of genes associated with biological processes or specific diseases.
A few years ago, researchers had limited acceptance of gene expression microarrays and their importance in their pharmaceutical and academic setting. Today, things have changed. The top pharmaceutical companies and academic centers run microarray programs. They generate gene expression data and use it for research.
Most institutions that are involved in biological research now have gene expression facilities. Many of them are striving to create high-throughput systems where they can apply their technologies. The technologies may be applied to basic research, clinical trials, and biomarker discovery programs.
Potential Advancement of Technology Cycle
The study of gene expression may help scientists improve the efficiency of processes and lower costs. The changes in technology format can cause a shift to big production centers making it possible to benefit from scale. Many groups and institutions will invest in new technologies just to be at the forefront.
Improved research may also shift the emphasis on low cost and high quality. When dedicated facilities take advantage of new technologies, they can make work more centralized. When scientists study gene expression, they can promote technological changes in data formats, algorithms, array versions, and instruments.
Gene expression is complicated and scientists have been studying it for a long time. The work is intense and has been the subject of various studies for hundreds of years. Studying gene expression can make it possible to discover many uncomfortable truths. For example, scientists have known the gene sequence and function for HIV and cystic fibrosis. However, they haven’t come up with a cure yet. Even though it is possible to map out an organism with ease, we don’t necessarily understand how it works. Further research could make it possible to understand more.