Researchers plumbing mysterious RNAs find a feasible treatment

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When hundreds of scientists from about the environment ultimately pieced collectively a draft of the initially human genome in 2003, maybe the major shock was just how minimal of it was devoted to the business enterprise of manufacturing proteins. About 98% of the genes in our chromosomes appeared not to do anything, earning the unflattering nickname “junk DNA.” But with improved equipment created around the very last 20 a long time, researchers began to find out that all that junk in fact provides a various menagerie of RNA species transcribed and set free to drift all-around the cell.

Figuring out accurately what each and every one particular does is the mission of an escalating quantity of scientists, including a staff at MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas. Decades back, they set out to ascertain the functions of a person RNA species in certain — significant ones, much larger than 200 bases, recognised as lengthy noncoding RNAs, or lncRNAs. Now, they’ve joined just one of these RNA molecules to a discovery they say could assist in the progress of new treatments for one of the most common genetic problems, phenylketonuria.

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