How do cells make decisions? Until recently, the dogma was that cell decision-making is instructive: a cell receives a signal and responds accordingly. Although simple, this idea ignores the complexity of the cell environment. A cell perceives many signals, all the time: how can it integrate all these to make an appropriate choice? To address this question, we will image cells during a differentiation decision, under conditions where we can also measure dynamics of multiple signals that influence choice. With simple mathematical models as a guide, we will use genome editing to define the molecular machinery that integrates competing signals.
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