Studies of gene expression during the eukaryotic cell cycle in whole-culture synchronized cultures have been published using many methodologies. These procedures alter the state of the cell cycle for a population of cells, rather than purifying a population of cells that are in the same state. Criticism of these methods (e.g. see Cooper, this issue, pp. 266-269, DOI:10.1016/j.tibtech.2004.04.009) suggests that these studies are flawed, and posits that such methodologies cannot be used to study the cell cycle because they alter the size and age distributions of the cultures. We believe that whole-culture cell cycle studies work even though they alter the size and age distributions: these cells still progress through the cell cycle and although we do not suggest that the methods are perfect, we will explain how these microarray studies have successfully identified cell cycle regulated genes and why these results are biologically meaningful.
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