New advances in miRNA

miRNA research is now one of the most interesting areas in the life science world, reports Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN).

Scientists around the globe are studying the effects of over- or underexpression of specific miRNAs on the development and inhibition of pathogenesis in a variety of diseases, according to an article titled “miRNA-Regulated Pathways” in the March 1 issue of GEN (http://www.genengnews.com/articles/chitem.aspx?aid=2382).

“The appeal of miRNA technology lies in its promise and broad applicability across a wide spectrum of biotechnology and medical research,” notes John Sterling, Editor-in-Chief of GEN. “Increasing numbers of studies are focusing on conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders as well as on aging.”

As more miRNAs are identified, researchers are correlating changes in miRNA levels with disease processes. For instance, scientists at the Wistar Institute recently identified miR-373 and miR-520c. Members of the same miRNA family, both were shown to promote tumor metastasis.

Also covered in the GEN article on miRNAs is research taking place at Asuragen, the University of Louisville, IBM, University of Texas Southwestern, Mira Therapeutics, and miRagen Therapeutics. In addition, GEN looks at the latest technologies and services from miRNA research enabling companies such as Exiqon, Sigma-Aldrich, Mirus Bio, Thermo Fisher Scientific, SuperArray Bioscience, and LC Sciences.

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