A study of a recently discovered microRNA gene reveals that its function is to regulate the secretion of insulin in the pancreas. The findings, which for the first time define a biological function for a mammalian microRNA gene, are published in the November 11 issue of Nature.
The discovery was made by a team of researchers from Rockefeller University, Lund University (Sweden), New York University, and Oxford University.
MicroRNA genes are a newly discovered large class of regulatory genes that do not encode proteins. Although these genes are present in virtually all multi-cellular organisms, their biological function had been largely unclear. In the study, microRNA miR-375 was found to regulate insulin secretion. NYUs Nikolaus Rajewsky, a new genomics faculty member in NYUs Center for Comparative Functional Genomics and an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, developed a computer algorithm to predict the targets of microRNAs in the genome. In the study, predicted gene targets for miR-375 were verified experimentally, thereby making an important contribution for understanding miR-375 function in regulating insulin secretion.
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
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A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
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A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
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18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy