NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Researchers from Stanford University this week reported new data showing that microRNA precursors, long thought to only be intermediates in the miRNA biogenesis pathway, are capable of competing with mature miRNAs, impeding their ability to repress target genes.

The findings reveal such precursors as a new class of post-transcriptional miRNA regulators, and may point to new approaches for using miRNAs therapeutically, according to the investigators.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

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Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

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