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Research Update

N6-methyladenosine Marks the Site of pri-miRNA Processing

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small-noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding with imperfect complementarity to target mRNAs. miRNA expression levels are altered in many types of cancer and other diseases and this has led to great interest in its biogenesis. While mature miRNAs are composed of 21-25 nucleotides, they begin as much longer transcripts, known as primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs). Prior to exiting the nucleus and becoming a mature miRNA, each pri-miRNA must be processed to a pre-miRNA hairpin. While it is known that the cleavage is imparted by a complex composed of the RNA binding protein DGCR8 and the type III RNase Drosha, the mechanism by which the Drosha-DGCR8 complex recognizes the correct region for cleavage has been under investigation.

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Blog Post

DNA’s Forgotten Discoverer: Swiss Scientist Friedrich Miescher
  • Discovered in 1869 in Pus Cells from Bandages of Crimean War Soldiers
  • Miescher Named this New Matter Nuclein and Intuited that it Played a Fundamental Role in Heredity
  • This put the “N” in DNA—Deoxynucleic Acid
  • Children now Isolate DNA from Fruits & Vegetables in Elementary School

Truth be told, what led me to writing this post was suddenly realizing one day that, although the vast majority of my professional career involves nucleic acids—and DNA in particular—I did not know anything about the discovery of DNA or its naming.

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Ask An Expert

How do you make sure that no salts are left in your preparations after purification and precipitation?

We QC our products by 31P NMR which reveals inorganic phosphate salt. This is usually the salt of most concern for enzymologists since it is an inhibitor of many polymerases...

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