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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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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