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Thomas Jefferson University

Study Nearly Triples the Locations in the Human Genome that Harbor MicroRNAs

by Thomas Jefferson University
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.