Researchers have developed a way to exploit RNA interference for the first time to silence genes in a wide variety of mammalian cells, including embryonic cells. The study will appear in the Feb. 17 edition of Nature Genetics. This new approach allows genes to be switched off by inserting short pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA) into developing cells. It is currently being used to help researchers uncover the function of the more than 30,000 genes found in humans, as well as in animal models of important diseases.
Being inactive is more life-threatening than being overweight or obese, results of one of the first studies to consider body weight and physical activity simultaneously and assess their independent effects on mortality has found. For the determinedly sedentary, that’s the bad news. The good news is that participants didn’t need to be marathon runners to decrease their mortality risk.