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Generalized principles of stochasticity can be used to control dynamic heterogeneity.

  • Author(s): Liao, David
  • Estévez-Salmerón, Luis
  • Tlsty, Thea D
  • et al.

It is increasingly appreciated that phenotypic stochasticity plays fundamental roles in biological systems at the cellular level and that a variety of mechanisms generates phenotypic interconversion over a broad range of time scales. The ensuing dynamic heterogeneity can be used to understand biological and clinical processes involving diverse phenotypes in different cell populations. The same principles can be applied, not only to populations composed of cells, but also to populations composed of molecules, tissues, and multicellular organisms. Stochastic units generating dynamic heterogeneity can be integrated across various length scales. We propose that a graphical tool we have developed, called a metronomogram, will allow us to identify factors that suitably influence the restoration of homeostatic heterogeneity so as to modulate the consequences of dynamic heterogeneity for desired outcomes.

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