In biotechnology, why do researchers want to know what genes are expressed in different types of cells?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In order to first answer this, it needs to be known that a gene is a sequence of genetic information within an organism's DNA which is translated by the cell into a protein. Proteins are long chains of amino acids which perform vastly various functions and take part in nearly...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In order to first answer this, it needs to be known that a gene is a sequence of genetic information within an organism's DNA which is translated by the cell into a protein. Proteins are long chains of amino acids which perform vastly various functions and take part in nearly every biological process.

When a gene is expressed within a cell, it means that that piece of DNA is translated within that cell to create the protein. Different kinds of cells express different proteins which assist the cell in performing their designated function, and don't express the proteins which are of no use to that cell.

When researchers wish to know which genes are expressed within the various different types of cells, they do this in order to understand what proteins are used within that cell. Understanding which proteins are created within a cell can allow the researchers to understand how exactly the cell performs its function.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team