Scientists find they can tap gene-silencing process to reveal parts of genetic machinery

CHAPEL HILL - In 1998, researchers discovered to their surprise a long-hidden but common form of gene silencing called RNA interference. In that key biological process, double-stranded pieces of the genetic information known as RNA become potent brakes on gene activity.

RNA interference -- RNAi for short -- works in animal cells by degrading the messenger RNAs that serve as the mobile blueprints produced by genes.

Now, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered that RNAi itself can be exploited to rapidly identify parts of the machinery that make RNAi work. With further research, the finding might have important implications for treating cancer and other serious illnesses, they say.

We stumbled upon the finding, said Dr. Robert P. Goldstein, assistant professor of biology. A graduate student in my lab, Nate Dudley, found that what was considered an annoying peculiarity of RNAi became, in the end, a really useful way to figure out how it works.

A report on the discovery appeared online in the March 19 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will appear in the April 2 print issue. Dudley, Goldstein and biology postdoctoral fellow Jean-Claude Labbe carried out the research and wrote the paper.

The team conducted its experiments in one-millimeter-long worms that live in soil and eat bacteria. Scientists call the critter Caenorhabditis elegans.

The coolest thing about C. elegans is that it has all the major cell types that we have -- muscle, nerve, gut, skin and so on -- yet the whole worm contains only 959 cells, said Goldstein, a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNCs medical school. C. elegans is therefore one of the simplest organisms available for studying how genes function during development. Human beings, on the other hand, have trillions of cells.

Many experiments, which would take forever or be impossibl

Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/jwkl9t/capacitive ) has announced the ... and Patent Infringement Risk Analysis" report to their ... Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent a fast ... Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of the number ... the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and 2017 (source ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of the ... with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for ... presents this award to the company that has developed ... of the market it serves. The award recognizes the ... on customer base demands, the overall impact it has ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , Nov. 18, 2015  As new scientific ... children, doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges in ... families and patients. In addition, as more children continue ... a patient,s adulthood and old age. John ... The Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, ... prospective initiatives designed to create shareholder value. ... of Spherix. "Based on published reports, the total ... $50 billion and Spherix will seek to secure ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 30, 2015  HUYA ... China,s pharmaceutical innovations, today announced ... Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) to foster collaboration between ... Korean development and commercialization of healthcare products for the ... potential as an important source of new innovative preclinical ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... San Jose, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... the Content Intelligence Company, today announced tighter software integration with MarkLogic, the ... management where organizations maximize information to drive change. , Smartlogic’s Content Intelligence ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is one ... biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic ... diagnostic tests. http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/global-cancer-biomarkers-market-2015-2019-market-report.html . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers market ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: