Tag: RNA

New study examines microRNA’s in plants and animals

May 19, 2004

As genes and proteins continue to take center stage in molecular biology, molecules called microRNAs are starting to make inroads. These microRNAs, which are unusually small when compared to other RNAs in the cell, have captured the attention of biologists with their capacity to regulate genes, an ability that one day may have therapeutic value.

Tools of the trade

April 7, 2004

In the film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” an angel shows a suicidal George Bailey how his small town would have fared had he never been born. For years, scientists have conducted countless George Bailey experiments on genes, identifying their function by knocking them out with specially designed complex molecules, then observing what happens to the cell.

New method identifies human microRNA targets

January 28, 2004

Research into the mechanics of microRNAs, tiny molecules that can selectively silence genes, has revealed a new mode of gene regulation that scientists believe has a broad impact on both plant and animal cells.

The Protein Universe

December 16, 2003

The story of life and all its associated processes takes place within a vast universe of proteins and their interactions, a bountiful frontier ripe for exploration.

MicroRNAs Play a Role in Blood Formation, Study Finds

December 4, 2003

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.

Laboratory “Theme Park” Re-creates RNA World for Study

August 26, 2003

Rarely, if ever, are theme parks built around a biological theme – and never do such parks fit inside a test tube. Almost never. Scientist David Bartel is hard at work on what might seem an impossibility – a microscopic theme park whose motif, the origins of life, is of equal interest to both scientists and philosophers.

Diagram of a miRNA

Novel Method IDs “Hidden Genes”

April 17, 2003

Once thought to serve only as a bridge between genes and protein production, RNA is quickly shedding its reputation as being all brawn and no brain. RNA’s research renaissance is due in part to the recent discovery of a new class of genes called microRNAs (miRNAs). Rather than code for proteins, miRNAs serve as regulators—genetic trump cards that turn protein-coding genes off.

Bartel research team wins prestigious AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

February 16, 2003

The discovery of micro-sized RNA molecules (miRNAs)—a breakthrough described as "the biological equivalent of dark matter, all around us but almost escaping detection"—earned the coveted 2001-2002 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Harnessing the power of SiRNA

February 11, 2003

Whitehead Institute recently released for public use a new computational tool that can help researchers more precisely silence gene function, streamlining drug discovery and disease research efforts.

Scientists Find New Class of Genes Implicated in Protein Regulation

October 26, 2001

David Bartel’s lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research reported the exciting discovery of a new class of small genes last month. The genes don’t code for proteins, but instead code for tiny RNAs called "microRNAs" —only 20 to 24 bases long—thought to be important in regulating protein levels. The results were published in the October 26 issue of Science along with two other papers with similar findings, one from Thomas Tuschl’s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the other from Victor Ambros’s lab at Dartmouth Medical School.

Study Offers Insights into Evolutionary Origins of Life; Artificial Enzyme Able to Synthesize RNA

May 17, 2001

In some of the strongest evidence yet to support the RNA world—an era in early evolution when life forms depended on RNA—scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have created an RNA catalyst, or a ribozyme, that possesses some of the key properties needed to sustain life in such a world.

Whitehead Study Supports Existence of Ancient RNA World

September 16, 1998

For decades, many researchers thought that ribonucleic acid, or RNA, was nothing more than a molecular interpreter that helps translate DNA codes into proteins. But research over the past 15 years, including studies at the Whitehead Institute, has been lending credence to the notion of a so-called “RNA world,” an era in early evolution when all life forms were based on RNA.


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