Cells get noisy in crowded environments

Bacteria are incredibly small, yet pack an enormous diversity of different molecules such as DNA, mRNA and proteins. Chemists from Radboud University Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Paris now show for the first time that random variations or ‘noise’ in cellular processes come to exist because of an interplay between the rate of the reaction and its environment. Nature Nanotechnology publishes the results on October 26.

Macromolecular crowding develops heterogeneous environments of gene expression in picoliter droplets
Maike M. K. Hansen, Lenny H. H. Meijer, Evan Spruijt, Roel J. M. Maas, Marta Ventosa Roquelles, Joost Groen, Hans A. Heus, Wilhelm T. S. Huck
Nature Nanotechnology

Figure: In A, the droplets are situated in a non-viscous environment and in B they have a higher viscosity.