Why the morning red of the genome fades

The spectrum of genes, recently celebrated as a highlight of global research, loses importance "Small rnas" and lively cell activities

The publisher of "Science" Discuss with his staff at the end of the year the highlights of the last twelve months. In biological research, the decision is in favor of the "Small rnas" please. Micrornas and Nanornas control gene expression, be it by setting the transmission temporary, underprere, or blocking the messenger RNAs. Just as unexpected is the realization that Small RNAs immediately tackle the chromatin and even the genome. 100 and more "Small RNA messengers" speak for the previously unknown level in cell regulation and possibly for elements that can only be made up of the stability of the genome.

Why the morning red of the genome fades

"Small rnas" Keep the DNA in Chess (Credit Science)

The decision of "Science" at the same time initiates the paradigm shift in gene research. After all, in 2002, more important genomes, namely for the rice, the lancingmuck, the malaria was translated, and the mouse has been deemed. Let us remember: The comments to the Entrate of the Human Genome in the previous year (February 2001) already love traces, because the number of genes is significantly lower than so far extrapolated. The recent explanations remain without cheers and without coarse words. Maybe that’s because the work is done by robots and sacrificed in EllenLange lists without direct consequences. Darwin does not require new gene spectra for its evolutionary theory. The statement "The mouse tail is also included in the human genome," is now even accepted by interested lay people as well.

Despite or especially because of the similarities in the genomes, the question of all questions remains unanswered: "What makes us human?" The genome, it seems today, is similar to an advanced shell. The decoration and life in the finished house runs according to special laws. Therefore, the variety in the phanotype of man is not to be explained by the genome alone. In medical research, therefore, dissatisfaction has come up. The geneticics can, pictorially spoken, put a wall, but not the urgent problems of our health loose.

"Not the genome, but that "Signal Transduction Environment" is the real life element," Warning more non-geneticists, "because it reflects the local peculiarities." The scientists have solved the more early ideas on the course of enzymatic reactions by a network of complicated interactions because they recognize that metabolic processes are not only cascade-forming, but proceed according to decision rules. T. Ideaer, T. Galitski and L. Hood (A New Approach To Decoding Life: Systems Biology. Annu. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genet. 2, 343-372 (2001) Beat the name "Systems Biology" before. Previously, hormones and neurotransmitters have been considered as examples of the body’s own autonomy and not as obedient servants of the genome, because the effects of external influences or "endogenously", By deficiency or overshoot, can be changed.

With the small RNAs is possible "missing link" found. Ten years ago, the small RNA molecules were completely unknown. "For many people, Small RNAs still appear complicated and esoteric. I would like to predict that they open the treatments for cross-developing developments in medicine, immunology, development of plants, and in other areas," James Carrington, director of the Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology at the Oregon State University, whose research is required by the US National Science Foundation with almost 2 million US dollars this year.

Most molecular biologists focused on protein encoding genes in the amption that RNA exports, which is commissioned by the DNA. In 1993, the first Small RNA was discovered. Investigations of the last two years give no doubt that Small RNAs control key functions in each animal and plant cell. In addition, the regulation of gene expression as well as the conversion of cells into specific organzi (U.a. Lungs, liver, brain). Enable or deactivate Small RNAs entire chromosomes or regional sections. On yeast cell mutants, it is detected that no small rnas denies cell division or incorrectly occurs because no heterochromatin is formed. Thus, the small helpers certainly have influenced influence on congenital defects as well as the development of stem cells or cancer cells. "Small RNAs arise through the transcription of small genes in regions of the genome, which were interpreted as a vacant or unpunty DNA. Unlike Messenger RNAs, they are not changed to make proteins. Your role is really based on controlling and regulating the gene expression or chromosome activity," So again James Carrington.

"The picture of genetic and epigenetic control must be reddether," Write Donald Kennedy, the publisher of "Science". Not only that. Stem cell research and cloning are directed by the previously undisputed dominance of the DNA. With the small RNAs as regulators, some failures can be explained, maybe even the premature rheumatism of sheep Dolly. This ends for the responsible researcher at the same time a stucco freedom: who can now risk try, as long as unknown, where and how hundred and more microRNAs and Nanornas are effective?

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