A broad group of discoveries about the biological powers of "small-RNA" molecules, some of which were made by researchers at Oregon State University, will be hailed on Friday as the scientific "Breakthrough of the Year" by the journal Science. Science is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the worlds largest general scientific society, and each year the prestigious journal identifies what it believes were the top 10 research advances of the year.
For 2002, the magazine cited a body of work being done by several research groups across the nation on small RNA molecules, calling them "electrifying discoveries, which are prompting biologists to overhaul their vision of the cell and its evolution." These tiny bits of genetic material were virtually unknown a decade ago but are now on the cutting edge of cell biology, and a better understanding of their function may form the basis for important advances in medicine, agriculture and other fields.
During the year, a major research program at OSU that is being supported by a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation contributed two important publications outlining new findings about these extraordinarily small regulatory molecules, including one article in the journal Science.
James Carrington | EurekAlert!
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