A new way to regulate gene expression

Monday, December 9, 2019 - 15:10 in Biology & Nature

Sometimes, unexpected research results are simply due to experimental error. Other times, it’s the opposite — the scientists have uncovered a new phenomenon that reveals an even more accurate portrayal of our bodies and our universe, overturning well-established assumptions. Indeed, many great biological discoveries are made when results defy expectation. A few years ago, researchers in the Burge lab were comparing the genomic evolution of several different mammals when they noticed a strange pattern. Whenever a new nucleotide sequence appeared in the RNA of one lineage, there was generally an increase in the total amount of RNA produced from the gene in that lineage. Now, in a new paper, the Burge lab finally has an explanation, which redefines our understanding of how genes are expressed. Once DNA is transcribed into RNA, the RNA transcript must be processed before it can be translated into proteins or go on to serve other roles within...

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