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Dec 21, 2006

MIT Researchers Uncover New Class of RNAs in Worms

  • Researchers from MIT have uncovered a new class of small, noncoding RNAs in worms. "This discovery further emphasizes the point that we have not completely reached the depths of RNA function, and we are excited to see how this develops," comments Michael Egholm, Ph.D., vp, molecular biology, 454 Life Sciences.

    Using 454 Life Sciences’ parallel sequencing technology, David Bartel, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at MIT, and colleagues sequenced some 400,000 small RNAs from Caenorhabditis elegans, identifying 18 new microRNA genes and more than 5,000 other RNAs of a type that had not been previously reported.

    The study, entitled, “Large-scale sequencing reveals 21U-RNAs and additional microRNAs and endogenous siRNAs in C. elegans” appeared in the December 15 issue of the journal Cell.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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