Study finds signal cascade that keeps plant stem cells active

Pools of stem cells in the apical meristems of plants are key to continued growth and development. Understanding how these stem cells are maintained and balanced against differentiated cells could lead to methods for increasing ...

MicroRNA comprehensively analyzed

Messenger RNA transmits genetic information to the proteins, and microRNA plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression. Scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Research Centre for Medical ...

Rapid evolution: New findings on its molecular mechanisms

The mechanisms by which new species arise are still not fully understood. What are the evolutionary processes that drive the evolution of new species? Evolutionary biologists traditionally assumed that geographical barriers ...

New insight into microRNA function can give gene therapy a boost

Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Oxford have shown that small RNA molecules occurring naturally in cells, i.e. microRNAs, are also abundant in cell nuclei. Previously, microRNAs were mainly ...

A rapid, easy-to-use DNA amplification method at 37 Celcius

Scientists in Japan have developed a way of amplifying DNA on a scale suitable for use in the emerging fields of DNA-based computing and molecular robotics. By enabling highly sensitive nucleic acid detection, their method ...

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MicroRNA

In genetics, microRNAs (miRNA) are single-stranded RNA molecules of 21-23 nucleotides in length, which regulate gene expression. miRNAs are encoded by genes from whose DNA they are transcribed but miRNAs are not translated into protein (i.e. they are non-coding RNAs); instead each primary transcript (a pri-miRNA) is processed into a short stem-loop structure called a pre-miRNA and finally into a functional miRNA. Mature miRNA molecules are partially complementary to one or more messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules, and their main function is to down-regulate gene expression. They were first described in 1993 by Lee and colleagues in the Victor Ambros lab , yet the term microRNA was only introduced in 2001 in a set of three articles in Science.

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