A possible cause of Parkinson’s disease discovered

“Nucleolus”, or small nucleus, is the term coined by early biologists for the tiny structure within the nucleus which they saw under the microscope. In this structure within the nucleus, RNA molecules and proteins are assembled to form ribosomes, th…

If junk DNA is useful, why is it not shared more equally?

The presence of introns in genes requires cells to process “messenger RNA” molecules before synthesizing proteins, a process that is costly and often error-prone. It was long believed that this was simply part of the price organisms paid for the fl…

Molecular fossil

In today’s world of sophisticated organisms proteins are the stars. They are the indispensible catalytic workhorses, carrying out the processes essential to life. But long, long ago ribonucleic acid (RNA) reigned supreme.
Now Northwestern Universi…

NC State develops more precise genetic ‘off switches’

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to “cage” genetic off switches in such a way that they can be activated when exposed to UV light. Their technology gives scientists a more precise way to control and study gene function…

A new player in the innate immunity game?

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a certain class of RNA (known as long non-protein-coding RNA [lncRNA]) are involved in the host response to viral infection. These findings, published today in the online journal mBio®, could gr…

Penn study identifies molecular guardian of cell’s RNA

PHILADELPHIA – When most genes are transcribed, the nascent RNAs they produce are not quite ready to be translated into proteins – they have to be processed first. One of those processes is called splicing, a mechanism by which non-coding gene…

A mystery solved: How genes are selectively silenced

Our genetic material is often compared to a book. However, it is not so much like a novel to be read in one piece, but rather like a cookbook. The cell reads only those recipes which are to be cooked at the moment. The recipes are the genes; ‘readin…

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