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micro RNA (miRNA)

Micro RNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression by suppressing the RNA pathway that translates genes into protein.
They act like 'master switches', having the ability to control the activity of multiple genes.

Articles using this Glossary Item


AI test could be first screening tool for ovarian cancer

06 November 2017 - by Isobel Steer

Machine learning has been used to develop a promising screening test for ovarian cancer, a team of US-based researchers has said... [Read More]

Genome editing used to slow cancer growth

30 May 2017 - by Annabel Slater

US scientists have delayed cancer cell growth by using genome editing to remove a protein... [Read More]

Stem cell secretions may protect against glaucoma

06 February 2017 - by Emma Laycock

Stem cell secretions, called exosomes, appear to protect retinal cells in rats, offering a potential therapy for degenerative eye diseases like glaucoma... [Read More]

Stem cells reprogrammed to resemble fertilised eggs

23 January 2017 - by Dr Loredana Guglielmi

Researchers have successfully turned stem cells into 'totipotent' cells, with characteristics resembling those of fertilised eggs... [Read More]

Gene therapy could prevent breast cancer from spreading

26 September 2016 - by Ebtehal Moussa

A new gene therapy technique using microRNAs has successfully prevented the spread of breast cancer in mice... [Read More]

Blurred boundaries – the language of DNA

08 August 2016 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

The general public have appropriated the term DNA to mean much more than just the molecule itself. This may not be a problem most of the time but, in the case of donor eggs and sperm in particular, it's important that people are clear on what genetics and epigenetics really tell us... [Read More]

Can donor egg recipients 'pass on DNA' to their children?

02 November 2015 - by Dr Jess Buxton

A recent study suggests that embryonic gene activity may be altered by factors present in the womb even before implantation. This finding triggered a somewhat misleading newspaper article entitled 'Infertile mums "pass on DNA"', which claimed the research means recipients of donor eggs are passing on their own DNA to their child. This isn't the case... [Read More]

Scientists find possible cause for IVF implantation failure

09 February 2015 - by Dr Katie Howe

Researchers have identified a biological process that may cause the failure of embryos to attach to the uterus wall during IVF, raising the possibility of future treatments... [Read More]

Trauma can be passed down through sperm

28 April 2014 - by Dr Victoria Burchell

Stress in early life can alter the production of small sections of the genetic material RNA in the sperm of mice, affecting behaviour not only in the mice themselves but also in their offspring, research suggests... [Read More]

'Gene signature' predicts chemotherapy survival

22 April 2013 - by Siobhan Chan

Scientists have identified an eight-gene 'signature' that can predict patients' response to chemotherapy... [Read More]

Scientists discover why regular sex prior to conception reduces pregnancy complications

03 December 2012 - by Chris Baldacci

A man may contribute more than just sperm to the process of conception, research suggests... [Read More]

Gene variant leads to six-fold increase in risk for certain brain tumours

10 September 2012 - by Matthew Young

A single-letter change in one gene may considerably increase a person's risk of developing particular forms of brain cancer, say researchers... [Read More]

Heart scar tissue repaired without stem cells

30 April 2012 - by Helen Brooks

Scar tissue formed after a heart attack could be repaired without the use of stem cells, according to US scientists... [Read More]

'Man flu' - do women just have stronger immune systems?

03 October 2011 - by George Frodsham

Genetic differences between men and women could mean that women are better at resisting certain infections and diseases than men, a new study suggests. The second X chromosome in women gives them an immunological advantage over men, possibly giving credence to man's perceived susceptibility to 'man-flu'.... [Read More]

Brain cells made from skin

18 July 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas

US researchers have successfully converted human skin cells directly into brain nerve cells, skipping an intermediate stem cell stage. The new technique has the potential to aid research into neurodegenerative disorders of the brain, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.... [Read More]


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