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Science 317 (5837): 463-464

Copyright © 2007 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Necessary Noise

Jerome T. Mettetal and Alexander van Oudenaarden

The randomness of a switch between two alternative bacterial states has been traced to the variable expression of a single protein.

The authors are in the Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. E-mail: avano{at}

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Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882