Researchers from Princeton University’s Department of Molecular Biology have identified a small RNA molecule that helps maintain the activity of stem cells in both healthy and cancerous breast tissue. The study, which will be published in the June issue of Nature Cell Biology, suggests that this “microRNA” promotes particularly deadly forms of breast cancer and that inhibiting the effects of this molecule could improve the efficacy of existing breast cancer therapies.
For Mazhar Adli, the little glowing dots dancing about on the computer screen are nothing less than the fulfillment of a dream. Those fluorescent dots, moving in real time, are set to illuminate our understanding of the human genome, cancer and other genetic diseases in a way never before possible.
Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are famous for engaging in complex behavior, from unlocking an aquarium tank and escaping to instantaneous skin camouflage to hide from predators. A new study suggests their evolutionary path to neural sophistication includes a novel mechanism: Prolific RNA editing at the expense of evolution in their genomic DNA.
If you’ve been a night owl all your life and mornings are your nemesis, you may be able to blame a gene mutation for all those late nights.
Using a newly developed method researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) have been able to shed light on the complexity of genome reorganization occurring during the first hours after fertilization in the single-cell mammalian embryo. Their findings have recently been published in the journal Nature. The team of researchers (from three continents) have discovered that the egg and sperm genomes that co-exist in the single-cell embryo or zygote have a unique structure compared to other interphase cells. Understanding this specialized chromatin “ground state” has the potential to provide insights into the yet mysterious process of epigenetic reprogramming to totipotency, the ability to give rise to all cell types.
Clinical trials for genome editing of the human germline – adding, removing, or replacing DNA base pairs in gametes or early embryos – could be permitted in the future, but only for serious conditions under stringent oversight, says a new report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. The report outlines several criteria that should be met before allowing germline editing clinical trials to go forward. Genome editing has already entered clinical trials for non-heritable applications, but should be allowed only for treating or preventing diseases or disabilities at this time.