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Anything DNA Can Do …

In a new study published in Cell, researchers at Cornell University report that RNA can be methylated just like DNA, says New Scientist's Andy Coghlan. Senior author Samie Jaffrey and his team found that around 20 percent of all RNA produced in rat brain cells and human kidney cells have methylated adenosine, Coghlan says. When the researchers further analyzed rat tissues, they found the methylated RNA concentrated in the brain, liver, and kidneys. In addition, methylation appears to plays a significant role in development, as concentrations of methylated RNA rose 70-fold in rat embryo brains in the final stages of growth. "The researchers found that methylated adenosine tended to cluster close to the point on the RNA strand where protein manufacture reaches completion, and on regions where other proteins bind to the strand to alter or halt production," Coghlan adds. "The suggestion is that methylation may therefore dictate how much protein gets made, and when."

"We've discovered something fundamental to biology," Jaffrey tells Coghlan. "It was there all the time and no one knew about it."

The Scan

Boosters Chasing Variants

The New York Times reports that an FDA advisory panel is to weigh updated booster vaccines for COVID-19.

Not Yet

The World Health Organization says monkeypox is not yet a global emergency, the Washington Post reports.

More Proposed for Federal Research

Science reports that US House of Representatives panels are seeking to increase federal research funding.

PLOS Papers on Breast Cancer Metastasis, Left-Sided Cardiac Defects, SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring

In PLOS this week: link between breast cancer metastasis and CLIC4, sequencing analysis of left-sided cardiac defects, and more.