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With the budget of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) all but stagnant and grant-funding rates at historic lows, the agency’s wiggle room for spending decisions is increasingly tight. But one area in which agency director Francis Collins retains both discretion and dollar power is the NIH director’s Common Fund , a US$545-million pot of money for trans-institute, trans-disciplinary — and, hopefully, transformative — initiatives, each lasting no more than ten years. Today, Collins announced the latest two of these strategic deployments, both of which will launch in 2013.
Tiny, transient loops of genetic material, detected and studied by the hundreds at Brown University, provide insights into how the body transcribes DNA and splices (or mis-splices) those transcripts into the instructions needed for making proteins. The lasso-shaped genetic snippets — called lariats — are byproducts of gene transcription. Until now scientists had found fewer than 100 lariats, mostly by poring over very small selections of introns, which are sections of genetic code that do not directly code for proteins, but contain important signals that direct the way protein-coding regions are assembled.
Iron now locked in ancient rock formations may have once enabled an 'RNA world'. More than three billion years ago, in the primordial soup that was the cradle of life on Earth, RNA took on many of the roles that its sister molecule DNA fills today — or so some scientists have speculated . A paper published 31 May in PLoS ONE posits one way that such an ‘RNA world’ could have worked: by making use of iron, a common element in the watery environs of ancient Earth.
High-throughput RNA sequencing has yielded some unexpected results in the past few years — including some that seem to rewrite conventional wisdom in genetics. But a few of those findings are now being challenged, as computational biologists warn of the statistical pitfalls that can lurk in data-intensive studies. The latest case centres on imprinted genes. Humans and most other animals inherit two copies of most genes, one from each parent.
DNA and RNA molecules are the basis for all life on Earth, but they don't necessarily have to be the basis for all life everywhere, scientists have shown. Researchers at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England, demonstrated that six synthetic molecules that are similar to — but not exactly like — DNA and RNA have the potential to exhibit "hallmarks of life" such as storing genetic information, passing it along and undergoing evolution. The man-made molecules are called "XNAs." "DNA and RNA aren't the only answers," said Vitor Pinheiro, the postdoctoral researcher who led the study, which was published this week in the journal Science.
Hi Worcesterman, Unfortunately I am not familiar with the MWG lambda scan 200 so I cannot give you a true explanation of what their different measurements mean . Still, this is what I can say with a high degree of certainty: 1.