Both neural and genetic networks are significantly noisy, and stochastic effects in both cases ultimately arise from molecular events. Nevertheless, a gulf exists between the two fields, with researchers in one often being unaware of similar work in the other. In this Special Issue, we focus on bridging this gap and present a collection of papers from both fields together. For each field, the networks studied range from just a single gene or neuron to endogenous networks. In this introductory article, we describe the sources of noise in both genetic and neural systems. We discuss the modeling techniques in each area and point out similarities. We hope that, by reading both sets of papers, ideas developed in one field will give insight to scientists from the other and that a common language and methodology will develop.