MicroRNAs Play a Role in Blood Formation, Study Finds

December 4, 2003

Tags: Bartel LabLodish LabRNAEvolution + Development

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Scientists have been fascinated by miRNAs ever since the abundance of these tiny RNAs was discovered in 2001. Rather than code for proteins, miRNAs serve as regulators that turn protein-coding genes off.

Now, new studies by scientists at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research are offering insight into the role miRNAs play in mammalian development. Researchers in the labs of Harvey Lodish and David Bartel have identified three miRNAs that seem to be involved in hematopoiesis—the process that leads to the creation of new blood cells. The work suggests other miRNAs may have similar developmental roles.

The study appears this week on Sciencexpress, a Web site featuring select papers slated for publication in an upcoming print edition of the journal Science.


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