microRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, 21-24 nt RNAs that mediate post-transcriptional gene regulation by pairing with the 3' untranslated region of messenger RNAs and acting as translational repressors. The study of miRNA is an emerging and exciting area of research with applications for basic, applied, and therapeutic science. Recent reports suggest a role for miRNAs in development, cell differentiation, apoptosis, and cancer. Ambion has recently developed several new tools for isolation and detection of miRNAs, which were used to investigate miRNA expression in white blood cells.
In the past few years, several discoveries have indicated that miRNAs play a role in various cellular functions. Early studies of miRNAs suggest that they could become a valuable tool for elucidating how gene expression can direct development, differentiation, and proliferation. This area of research could provide more insight into the causes of certain diseases, leading to the identification of novel therapeutic or diagnostic targets. Interest in the identification, detection, and use of small RNA molecules has exploded in response to these discoveries. However, standard RNA isolation and quantitation techniques have been optimized for larger RNAs and are not always favorable for recovering and analyzing smaller RNA species.
Analysis of Small RNA Exp