NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – While environmental RNAi (eRNAi) — sequence-specific knockdown of gene expression via ingested double-stranded RNA — has been demonstrated in nematodes and certain insect species, the mechanisms underlying this process and its variability remain largely unknown.

Research published last month by researchers from Monsanto, however, has added some color to the picture, suggesting that the stability of long dsRNAs in the gut lumens of insects plays a key role in their sensitivity to eRNAi.

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A new report highlights the potential threats posed by advances in synthetic biology, NPR reports.

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