An Arizona State University team has used a unique high-throughput screening system to complete the largest-ever analysis of microRNAs (miRNA), the puzzling little cousins of RNA that help regulate gene expression.
Their findings offer a new explanation for why groups of similar miRNA sequences, called miRNA families, are so plentiful in higher species of animals, including humans.
Researchers have found a new link between a cell’s basic life functions and its genetic operations. The connection involves a protein complex named SESAME, which uses enzymes responsible for glycolysis to activate proteins that regulate genetic material. Glycolysis is the first stage of cellular metabolism, the chain of biochemical reactions by which cells break down food, build proteins and amino acids, and produce energy.
Although their research involved yeast, the authors say the link may hold true in humans. If a SESAME equivalent in humans is found, it could offer insight to enable novel approaches for cancer risk prediction and treatment. Read my full press release at Stowers Institute for Medical Research:
Playing video games isn’t exactly rocket science but, thanks to a crowdsourcing computer game developed by University of Washington researchers, it can be molecular biology – and can offer hope to sufferers of tough-to-crack diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and HIV.
Like John Henry versus the steam hammer or Garry Kasparov versus Deep Blue, Foldit players show that humans still have a thing or two to teach machines; unlike Henry, who died, or Kasparov, who lost in a rematch, protein-folding gamers still have an edge over the brute-force number crunching of supercomputers.