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MicroRNA (miRNA) play an important role in controlling different processes that occur in cells through gene regulation. These small molecules are able to regulate many cellular processes by reducing target amounts in the cells. There are more than 1,900 locations in the human genome that are known to produce these miRNA molecules.
According to the public databases, there are currently approximately 1,900 locations in the human genome that produce microRNAs (miRNAs), the small and powerful non-coding molecules that regulate numerous cellular processes by reducing the abundance of their targets. New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week adds another roughly 3,400 such locations to that list. Many of the miRNA molecules that are produced from these newly discovered locations are tissue-specific and also human-specific. The finding has big implications for research into how miRNAs drive disease.
Chemists from North Carolina State University have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment.
Although only recently identified as a new class of molecules, microRNAs have emerged as a one of the most promising areas of research today. Recent data further suggest that medical conditions, such as cancer, can be associated with specific microRN patterns. Identifying these patterns may lead to the development of targeted treatments.