Tuesday, June 9, 2009

RNA interference revisited

Not long ago, I wrote about why I think it's important for A&P students to know about RNA interference (RNAi).

A recent Editor's Choice in the journal Science relates another reason why RNAi is the up-and-coming thing in understanding human structure and function. Scientists recently found that mutations in microRNA genes alter natural gene silencing in a way that produces progressive hearing loss that is inherited.

Thus we can add another reason why our students need to know what RNAi is . . . mistakes in RNAi constitute a mechanism of human disease. Before long, we'll probably find many examples of RNAi-related disease.

RNA Silencing
Paula A. Kiberstis
Science 24 April 2009 Vol. 324
[Editor's Choice summary; includes nice image]

An ENU-induced mutation of miR-96 associated with progressive hearing loss in mice
Morag Lewis, et al.
Nature Genetics 41, 614 - 618 (2009)
Published online: 12 April 2009 | doi:10.1038/ng.369
[Original research behind the summary.]
Mutations in the seed region of human miR-96 are responsible for nonsyndromic progressive hearing loss
Ángeles Mencía
Nature Genetics 41, 609 - 613 (2009)
Published online: 12 April 2009 | doi:10.1038/ng.355
[Original research behind the summary.]
RNA interference
Kevin Patton
The A&P Professor
[Article summarizing RNAi, why our students need to be aware of it, and links to FREE resources.]

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