Researchers at New York Universitys Center for Comparative Functional Genomics and the University of California, Berkeley have used computational analyses to predict a genome-wide map of microRNA (miRNA) targets in the animal model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). MicroRNAs bind to messenger RNA (mRNA) in a specific section, called 3UTR, and are known to regulate them. Parts of the predicted map were confirmed through the development of a novel in vivo method that asked whether the 3 UTR part of mRNAs was driving regulation during development in a living organism. Their research appears in the most recent issue of Current Biology.
In mapping miRNA targets, the research team examined the function of the genome of C. elegans, the first animal species whose genome was completely sequenced and a model organism to study how embryos develop. Using PicTar, an algorithm developed at NYU, the researchers predicted miRNA functions of C. elegans genes. The researchers found that one-third of C. elegans miRNAs target gene sets have related functions. That is, it appears that miRNAs can control groups of genes that work in a specific biological process. At least 10 percent of C. elegans genes are predicted miRNA targets.
To test the computational predictions, the NYU team developed a new in vivo analysis system comparing the expression of a reporter, green fluorescent protein (GFP) carrying target 3 UTRs with controls, that did not carry the target 3UTRs. The laboratory results confirmed the role of specific 3 UTRs in suppressing gene expression even more widely than predicted by the computational analysis, suggesting that 3 UTRs contain a largely unexplored universe for gene regulation.
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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