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International research team seeks to unravel flatworm regeneration
Date:7/21/2009

s. This is a group of just recently discovered small RNA molecules which are important for the stability of the genome. The researchers could demonstrate that piRNAs are highly represented in the planarian stem cells and likely function in a similar way as in mammals.

Because stem cells are potentially immortal, they need to strictly control their genome integrity during transmission to future generations, and particulary to protect it against the uncontrolled propagation of mobile genetic elements, transposons. PiRNAs have been shown to selectively silence transposons in the fly and mouse genomes. Due to their analysis the researchers assume that piRNAs have a similar function in the planarian stem cells. Further studies are needed to investigate this.


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Contact: Barbara Bachtler
bachtler@mdc-berlin.de
49-309-406-3896
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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