Is there any evidence showing that copy number variation changes over time? I'm wanting to model interactions in expression level as a dynamic bayesian network, but an assumption my approach will need to make is that it is static.

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    $\begingroup$ the answer to this question depends on the scale you're looking at: individual cells? tissues? organisms? tumors? $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2013 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKuhn Good clarification point, thanks for bringing it up. I'm thinking of changes in the output of whatever technique is measuring CNV--e.g., in situ hybridization, etc.--in a given organism. I assume that data is averaged over multiple cells, but I'm not taking about variance due to the averaging process. You're tumor point is good as well, as I'm interested in variation the cancer genome. Does that help? $\endgroup$
    – Kyle.
    Jan 23, 2013 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


Your question could be phrased more specifically to avoid ambiguity, but rephrasing it the way that I suspect you mean it, ("Is there any evidence showing that [the rate of] copy number variation changes over time?"), then yes, there is indeed.

The rate depends on many factors including which mechanism and which organism and which region of the organism's genome and as @Michael wrote, also what scale (et. al.) is under consideration too.

So your assumption that the rate is static should probably be stated explicitly.

Nature Reviews Genetics 10, 551-564 (August 2009) | doi:10.1038/nrg2593

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, Kevin! That's mostly what I was looking for, and it looks like this review will give me some more information as to how it works. As a side note, I'm interested in modeling regulatory relationships in time series of expression data, but was curious as to whether, if I could get CNV data for my model as well, if those data could be assumed to be fixed over time, or if that would just have to be a limitation of my approach. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle.
    Jan 23, 2013 at 15:58

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