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Putting the ‘fun’ into functional genomics: a review of RNAi genomewide cellular screens

18 December 2012 | By Dr. Stephen Brown, Sheffield RNAi Screening Facility, Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield

As RNA interference (RNAi) enters its teenage years from the first critical observations, it has now reached a multi-billion pound industry. There are few research areas that have expanded as quickly and spectacularly as the field of RNAi. The potential of RNAi initially sparked a functional genomics gold rush. Different…

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MicroRNAs for high-throughput functional analysis

19 June 2008 | By

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNA molecules, which are potent post-transcriptional gene expression regulators. They have been shown to participate in the regulation of numerous cellular processes, the list of which is still growing. miRNAs affect numerous targets that can be determined by direct experiments or predicted…

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Size does matter: macro ncRNAs and the regulation of imprinted gene clusters

23 January 2008 | By

The availability of the human and the mouse sequence has allowed genome-wide analysis of transcription to produce 'transcriptomes' that list all RNA transcripts in specific cell types or tissues. These studies have identified a surprisingly large number of ncRNAs that were not recognised by gene annotation programs applied to the…

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In vivo drug target validation using RNAi

21 July 2007 | By Jost Seibler, Head of Technology Development, Artemis Pharmaceuticals and Frieder Schwenk, Principal Scientist, University of Applied Science, Department of Applied Natural Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Among the genetic model organisms, the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) has a predominant role in the study of human disease and in pre-clinical drug development. Apart from the high degree of sequence homology of mouse and human genomes, and similarities in many physiological aspects, advanced targeting technologies make the crucial…

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How will MicroRNAs affect the drug discovery landscape?

21 July 2007 | By Dr. Neil Clarke and Dr. Mark Edbrooke, GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development, Hertfordshire, UK

The archetypal microRNAs, lin-4 and let-7, were discovered in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans over a decade ago and, at that time, no one would have predicted that they would be anything other than an interesting feature of worm developmental biology. However, in recent years there has been an explosion…

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Academic contribution to high-content screening for functional and chemical genomics

21 July 2007 | By Kerstin Korn and Eberhard Krausz (Corresponding author), Head, HT-Technology Development Studio (TDS), Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG)

High-content screening (HCS) is defined as multiplexed functional screening based on imaging multiple markers (e.g. nuclei, mitochondria etc.) in the physiologic context of intact cells by extraction of multicolour fluorescence information1. It is based on a combination of advanced fluorescence-based reagents, modern liquid handling devices, automated imaging systems and data…

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Inducible systemic RNA silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans

27 March 2007 | By Lisa Timmons, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Kansas, Hiroaki Tabara, University of Tokushima, Japan, Craig C. Mello, Howard Hughes Medical Institutes and Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts and Andrew Fire, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University

Introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) can elicit a gene-specific RNA interference response in a variety of organisms and cell types. In many cases, this response has a systemic character in that silencing of gene expression is observed in cells distal from the site of dsRNA delivery. The molecular mechanisms underlying…

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Cancer immunotherapy using RNAi

25 January 2007 | By Chih-Ping Mao, Department of Pathology, Chien-Fu Hung, Ph.D, Department of Pathology and Oncology and T-C Wu, Ph.D., Department of Pathology, Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Immunotherapy has recently emerged as an attractive form of treatment for cancer due to the potential of the immune system to eradicate tumours without inflicting damage on normal tissue. However, natural immune responses are usually inadequate to control cancer progression and require enhancement by vaccines.

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A new field in biomarker discovery and target identification

25 January 2007 | By Dr. Ina K. Dahlsveen, Exiqon

The last few years have seen a rush of discoveries within a new field of post-transcriptional gene regulation. microRNAs, or miRNAs for short, are small regulating RNAs akin to small interfering RNAs (siRNA), but which are naturally expressed in vivo. Originally discovered in C. elegans 14 years ago, these small…

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Challenges in High-Content siRNA Screening

28 November 2006 | By Dr. Eberhard Krausz, HT-Technology Development Studio (TDS), Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG)

Huge progress has been made, both in RNA interference technology applied to mammalian cells and in automated microscopy to analyse gene functions upon silencing in the cellular context. Large-scale siRNA screens have been published recently, mainly applying assays that gain multi-parametric information on biological processes. It is a long way…

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The right approach to human therapy

28 September 2006 | By Dr Simone Hess, Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology

The RIGHT (RNA Interference Technology as Human Therapeutic Tool) consortium consists of 18 research institutions and four companies from nine European countries. The project has been funded as an integrated project by the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP6) since January 2005. Thomas F. Meyer from…

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MitoCheck: checking mitosis

20 July 2006 | By Dr Yan Sun, MitoCheck Project Manager, Institute of Molecular Pathology

MitoCheck is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary research project on cell cycle control. It is funded by the European Union within its 6th framework program (FP6). Leading scientists from 11 research institutes, universities and industry in Austria, Germany, UK, Italy and France with a wide range of expertise in molecular and cell…

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A new approach to specify RNAi experiments

23 May 2006 | By Ina Poser, Project Leader and Frank Buchholz Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology

Large DNA-sequencing projects such as the Human Genome Project have provided the scientific community with a new challenge: to try to understand the information encoded in the primary sequence of the genome. Studies investigating the role and function of the components of the genome are often called functional genomics.

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Is Pharma getting what it needs from RNAi?

24 March 2006 | By Steven A. Haney, Department of Biological Technologies, Wyeth Research

Large and small drug development companies have used RNAi intensively for several years now1-3. The adoption of RNAi technologies by drug companies followed fairly closely with their adoption by academic research labs, and as such many of the challenges and problems that were a natural consequence of the rapid expansion…