Thursday, 28 June 2007

Non-coding RNA may play larger role in cell's gene activity

RNA may play larger role in cell's gene activity June 28, 2007 Large, seemingly useless pieces of RNA - a molecule originally considered only a lowly messenger for DNA - play an important role in letting cells know where they are in the body and what they are supposed to become, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered. The finding implies that ancient RNA molecules can orchestrate gene activity across vast portions of the human genome - a cell's genetic blueprint. It also suggests they may be important in cancer development and stem cell maintenance. Overall, the work adds another brick to the growing wall of evidence suggesting that RNA is more than a mere genomic servant. RNA is best known for ferrying protein-coding instructions from DNA, once thought to be the master molecule of the genome, to the cell's assembly factories. But cracks in this theory began to appear when it became evident that many RNA molecules aren't capable of making protein. While more recent research has shown that small bits of RNA can silence individual genes by interfering with their expression - a la Stanford professor Andrew Fire's recent Nobel work - longer pieces, called non-coding RNAs, have been more perplexing. ......... ZenMaster


For more on stem cells and cloning, go to CellNEWS at http://www.geocities.com/giantfideli/index.html

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