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This technology examines the complexity of messen-ger RNA transcripts of an organism (i.e., transcrip-tome), under a variety of internal and external conditions reflecting the genes that are being actively expressed at any given time (with the exception of mRNA degradation phenomena such as transcrip-tional attenuation) (Subramanian et al., 2005). Therefore, the transcriptome can vary with external environmental conditions while the genome is roughly fixed for a given cell line (excluding mutations). The transcriptomes of stem cells and cancer cells are of particular interest to better under-stand the processes of cellular differentiation and carcinogenesis. High-throughput techniques based on microarray technology are used to examine the expression level of mRNAs in a given cell population.
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