Understanding Gene Regulation-Operons and their key importance to cellular functionality

Alexander Williams


For many years, scientists were puzzled as to how cells regulate gene expression. How could a cell produce different amounts of genetic product at different times? How could a cell start and stop production of specific genetic products? Conducting a wide variety of experiments using techniques including polymerase chain reactions, various blotting and recombinant techniques; scientists discovered operons. While the area is still open to much study, a lot has been learned about operons thus far. A few examples discussed below include how operons can be influenced by antibiotics, how operons can be modified to completely repress expression, and how gene expression is influenced by the distance from the gene to the end of the operon. The results found from these experiments are exciting, and could one day potentially aid in curing diseases and disorders, as well as answering many questions about genetic expression.

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