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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 10:46 EDT

Latest Piwi-interacting RNA Stories

2012-06-27 14:24:19

Epigenetic memory may pass RNA silencing from 1 generation to the next Organisms employ a fascinating array of strategies to identify and restrain invasive pieces of foreign DNA, such as those introduced by viruses. For example, many viruses produce double-stranded (ds)RNA during their life cycle and the RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism is thought to recognize this structural feature to initiate a silencing response. Now, UMass Medical School researchers have identified a mechanism...

2011-12-22 15:42:35

New research illustrates how the genome adapts to a transposon invasion Small, mobile sequences of DNA left over from viruses, called transposons or "jumping genes" because of their ability to move around the genome, pose a significant threat to the genetic integrity and stability of an organism. Considered genetic parasites, these transposable elements are believed to comprise as much as 50 percent of the human genome. Because of the damage transposons can do to an organism's DNA, an...

2009-07-31 12:10:50

Transposons are mobile genetic elements found in the hereditary material of humans and other organisms. They can replicate and the new copies can insert at novel sites in the genome. Because this threatens the whole organism, molecular mechanisms have evolved which can repress transposon activity. Professor Klaus Förstemann of the Gene Center of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich and a team of researchers working with the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster have now...

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2009-07-21 18:30:00

Planarian flatworms are only a few millimeters up to a few centimeters in length, live in freshwater and are the object of intense research, because they possess the extraordinary ability to regenerate lost tissue with the help of their stem cells (neoblasts) and even grow an entirely new worm out of minute amputated body parts. Now researchers from the Max Delbrck Center in Berlin, Germany together with researchers in the US and Canada present the first comprehensive catalogue of small RNAs...

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2008-11-28 12:01:13

A class of small RNAs inherited from the mother determines offspring's fertility trait Hereditary information flows from parents to offspring not just through DNA but also through the millions of proteins and other molecules that cling to it. These modifications of DNA, known as "epigenetic marks," act both as a switch and a dial "“ they can determine which genes should be turned on or off, and how much message an "on" gene should produce. One way in which epigenetic information is...