18 July 2006

The Mega-Important MicroRNAs

Yesterday, when I was writing about the structures found in DNA, I said

Between the genes lie stretches of the main program that calls the subroutines

This is, of course, a gross over-simplification. One of the most interesting discoveries of recent years is that between your common or garden genes there are other structures that do not code for proteins, but for strings of RNA. It turns out that the latter play crucial roles in many biological processes, for example development. Indeed, they are fast emerging as one of genomics' superstars.

So it is only right that Nature Genetics should devote an entire issue to the subject; even better, it's freely available until August 2006. So get downloading now. Admittedly, microRNAs aren't the lightest of subject-matters, but they're mega-important.

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