Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Interesting article in the Times on new discoveries about RNA and its functions
What all of this RNA is doing is not clear, and much of it may have no function. Dr. Sean Eddy, a researcher at Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Washington University, said cells might just be sloppy, turning far more DNA into RNA than they needed. But mounting evidence suggests that at least some RNA is involved in regulating the way genes are turned on or off....

As research continues, scientists wonder how the small RNA's eluded them for so long. One explanation is that genes that code for RNA are easy to overlook in computer scans of genomes. But another reason, scientists say, is simply that no one thought to look.

"This work could have been done 20 years ago," Dr. Sharp said. "There's nothing new in it in terms of technology. We just missed it."

Also see this Science News article on non-viral delivery systems for gene therapy.

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