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RNA in Biological News

New DNA and RNA aptamers offer unique therapeutic advantages

New Rochelle, NY, August 5, 2009A novel class of drugs composed of single strands of DNA or RNA, called aptamers, can bind protein targets with a high strength and specificity and are currently in clinical development as treatments for a broad range of common diseases, as described in a comprehens...

New tool isolates RNA within specific cells

A team of University of Oregon biologists, using fruit flies, has created a way to isolate RNA from specific cells, opening a new window on how gene expression drives normal development and disease-causing breakdowns. While DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) provides an identical genetic blueprint in...

MIT reels in RNA surprise with microbial ocean catch

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--An ingenious new method of obtaining marine microbe samples while preserving the microbes' natural gene expression has yielded an unexpected boon: the presence of many varieties of small RNAs snippets of RNA that act as switches to regulate gene expression in these single-celled...

Researchers find snippet of RNA that helps make individuals remarkably alike

"No two people are alike." Yet when we consider the thousands of genes with frequent differences in genetic composition among different people, it is remarkable how much alike we are. Uniformity, or singleness of form, is not unique to humans but a general property of life. Biologists have lon...

NYU Langone Medical Center researchers find micro RNA plays a key role in melanoma metastasis

NEW YORK CITY (February 5, 2009)Scientists have long wondered how melanoma cells travel from primary tumors on the surface of the skin to the brain, liver and lungs, where they become more aggressive, resistant to therapy, and deadly. Now, scientists from NYU Langone Medical Center have identifi...

Scripps scientists develop first examples of RNA that replicates itself indefinitely

Now, a pair of Scripps Research Institute scientists has taken a significant step toward answering that question. The scientists have synthesized for the first time RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of any proteins or other cellular components, and the process proceeds ind...

Case Western Reserve finds mechanism underlying alt. splicing of premessenger RNA into messenger RNA

CLEVELAND December 24, 2008 An international research team led by Tim Nilsen, Ph.D., a professor of medicine and biochemistry and the director of the School of Medicine's Center for RNA Molecular Biology, has discovered an unexpected mechanism governing alternative splicing, the process by which...

Caltech engineers build firast-ever multi-input 'plug-and-play' synthetic RNA device

PASADENA, Calif.--Engineers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a "plug-and-play" synthetic RNA device--a sort of eminently customizable biological computer--that is capable of taking in and responding to more than one biological or environmental signal at a time. ...

CSHL team traces extensive networks regulating alternative RNA splicing

Two professors at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have succeeded in tracing intricate biochemical networks involving a class of proteins that enable genes to express themselves in specific tissues at particular moments in development. Michael Q. Zhang, Ph.D. and Adrian R. Krainer, Ph.D.,...

Analysis of RNA role in spreading disease advances study of damaging plant infections

COLUMBUS, Ohio Recent research that links specific pieces of RNA to an infectious organisms duplication and spread could lead the way to the prevention of viroids, pathogens that can kill or damage food crops and other plants. The findings and the research approach used by Ohio State Universi...

Pioneers in small RNA research to present at UD symposium, April 16

Three of the world's pioneers in small RNA research--Victor Ambros, Gary Ruvkun and David Baulcombe--will lecture on their recent discoveries at a special half-day symposium at the University of Delaware from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center...

Case researcher in RNA biology makes waves by challenging current thinking

In the January 18th issue of Molecular Cell, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher Kristian E. Baker, Ph.D. challenges molecular biologys established body of evidence and widely-accepted model for nonsense-mediated messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) decay. With her collabora...

Nucleonics initiates hepatitis B clinical trial with expressed interfering RNA therapeutic

HORSHAM, PA (January 11, 2008): Nucleonics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapeutics, announced today that the company has begun treating patients in a Phase 1 human safety study of its experimental treatment for c...

Baumann lab identifies elusive telomere RNA subunit in single cell model

The Stowers Institutes Baumann Lab has identified the long-sought telomerase RNA gene in a single-cell research model. Their findings have been posted to the Web site of the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and will appear in a future print edition. Chromosomes shorten with every ...

Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism

They are often overlooked, and were once thought to be too small to contribute much to major cellular processes, but in recent years the study of small ribonucleic acids (sRNA) has gained momentum. Now a team from the University of Illinois has identified the unique metabolic activities of one of ...

Prediction of RNA pseudoknots using heuristic modeling with mapping and sequential folding

An algorithm utilizing structure mapping and thermodynamics is introduced for RNA pseudoknot prediction. The method finds the minimum free energy in the context of the biological folding direction (5 to 3) of RNA sequences. It also identifies information about the flexibility of the RNA. Mappi...

Bits of 'junk' RNA aid master tumor-suppressor gene

Little-known bits of RNA help master tumor-suppressor gene do its job, U-M cancer researchers find Three micro RNA genes appear to be key partners of protective gene p53; their loss is linked to common type of lung cancer ANN ARBOR, Mich. Scientists have shown in literally thousands of stu...

Yale University's Strobel recognized for work on RNA

Yale Universitys Scott A. Strobel, Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, has been awarded the prestigious Schering-Plough Research Institute Award. The award is given by American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to recognize outstanding scientific contributions made b...

Researchers discover the structural alphabet of RNA

This release is available in French . A team of bioinformaticians at the Universit de Montral (UdeM) report in the March 6th edition of Nature the discovery of a structural alphabet that can be used to infer the 3D structure of ribonucleic acid (RNA) from sequence data, providing new tool...

Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA

Scientists have discovered a key protein in the toxic brain pathway that leads to fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), an inherited neurodegenerative disorder. The finding, in a Drosophila (fly) model of FXTAS, could help unravel the complex mechanisms of FXTAS and lead scientists to develop...

Renegade RNA -- Clues to cancer and normal growth

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a tiny piece of genetic code apparently goes where no bit of it has gone before, and it gets there under its own internal code. A report on the renegade ribonucleic acid, and the code that directs its movement, will be published Jan. 5 in Science....

Killing the messenger RNA -- But which one?

Tiny molecules called microRNAs, only 19 to 21 nucleotides in length, are able to effectively silence sometimes large sets of genes. They do this by specifically binding to and neutralizing another form of RNA called messenger RNA, responsible for conveying the information from genes to the cellula...

Interfering RNA silences genes in 'slippery' immune cells

A technical advance in laboratory techniques may provide biology researchers broader access to RNA interference, a process of blocking the activity of targeted genes. RNA interference has recently emerged as an important tool in studying how genes function in normal biological processes and in dise...

Rehydrate -- your RNA needs it

Water, that molecule-of-all-trades, is famous for its roles in shaping the Earth, sustaining living creatures and serving as a universal solvent. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic have uncovered two previously unknown roles for wate...

Salmonella bacteria use RNA to assess and adjust magnesium levels

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have added a gene in the bacterium Salmonella to the short list of genes regulated by a new mechanism known as the riboswitch. The Salmonella riboswitch is the first to sense and respond to a metal ion, substantially expanding ...

Tiny RNA molecules fine-tune the brain's synapses

Non-coding regions of the genome ?those that don't code for proteins ?are now known to include important elements that regulate gene activity. Among those elements are microRNAs, tiny, recently discovered RNA molecules that suppress gene expression. Increasing evidence indicates a role for microR...

'Accelerated evolution' converts RNA enzyme to DNA enzyme in vitro

This "evolutionary conversion" provides a modern-day snapshot of how life as we understand it may have first evolved out of the earliest primordial mix of RNA-like molecules-sometimes referred to as the "pre-RNA world"-into a more complex form of RNA-based life (or the "RNA world") and eventually t...

A real time look at interactions between RNA and proteins

For the first time, researchers can now peer inside intact cells to not only identify RNA-binding proteins, but also observe–in real-time–the intricate activities of these special molecules that make them key players in managing some of the cell's most basic functions. Researchers at the University...

New study expands understanding of the role of RNA editing in gene control

For many years, scientists thought gene activity was relatively straightforward: Genes were transcribed into messenger RNA, which was processed and translated into the proteins of the body. Certainly, there were many factors governing the transcription process, but gene control happened at the leve...

Solexa and collaborating scientists illuminate the small RNA component of the transcriptome

Solexa, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLXA) today announced that its researchers in collaboration with the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and the University of Delaware reported the most comprehensive analysis to date of the small RNA component of the transcriptome. The research, "Elucidation of the Small RNA Co...

Yale scientists identify structure for RNA quality control

A report by Yale scientists in the journal Cell sheds new light on how the protein Ro, a major autoantigen in patients with autoimmune disease, recognizes misfolded RNAs, creating a RNA quality control system for cells. The quality control process in the cell has been well-studied for the DNA and...

Virus uses tiny RNA to evade the immune system

In the latest version of the hide-and-seek game between pathogens and the hosts they infect, researchers have found that a virus appears to cloak itself with a recently discovered gene silencing device to evade detection and destruction by immune cells. The report by Howard Hughes Medical Instit...

Public collections of DNA and RNA sequence reach 100 gigabases

The world's three leading public repositories for DNA and RNA sequence information have reached 100 gigabases [100,000,000,000 bases; the 'letters' of the genetic code] of sequence. Thanks to their data exchange policy, which has paved the way for the global exchange of many types of biological inf...

Scientists devise way to measure RNA synthesis on the fly in a live cell

A team of scientists at the University of Chicago has developed a non-invasive laboratory technique that allows them to instantly map when genes are switching off and on in a living bacterium as it becomes exposed to antibiotics and other changes in its environment. The technique, which is annou...

Researchers feed tiny pills of RNA to planarians to identify genes essential for regeneration

University of Utah researchers-feeding microscopic pills of RNA to quarter-inch long worms called planarians-have identified many genes essential to understanding a biological mystery that has captivated scientists for hundreds of years: regeneration. In pinpointing the genes, the U School of Me...

Used in a new way, RNA interference permanently silences key breast cancer gene

In laboratory mouse experiments, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have developed a way to use RNA interference (RNAi) so that it permanently hampers breast cancer development. The technique permanently silences activated STAT3, a crucial gene found in some human b...

Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference

A research team based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has identified 80 new genes essential to the process of RNA interference (RNAi), a powerful new research tool for inactivating genes in plants or animals. They used the RNAi process itself to find new genes that participate in the gene-s...

Silence the gene, save the cell: RNA interference as promising therapy for ALS

Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have used RNA interference in transgenic mice to silence a mutated gene that causes inherited cases of amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), substantially delaying both the onset and the progression rate of the fatal mot...

New RNA polymerase discovered in plants

Biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an entirely new cellular "machine" in plants that plays a significant role in plant flowering and DNA methylation, a key chemical process essential for an organism's development. A team headed by Craig Pikaard, Ph, D., Washington U...

Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference

A research team based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has identified 80 new genes essential to the process of RNA interference (RNAi), a powerful new research tool for inactivating genes in plants or animals. They used the RNAi process itself to find new genes that participate in the gene-s...
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