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UK, Hebrew University Win US-Israel Grant

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Collaborating researchers at the University of Kentucky and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have reeled in a $300,000 grant from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) to fund research into the functioning of small non-coding RNAs.

The BSF Transformative Science Award is aimed at funding research that has the potential to radically change understanding about scientific concepts, or lead to the creation of a new paradigm or new field of science, Hebrew University said today.

The collaborative project seeks to investigate how organisms regulate the readout of their genomic information, and how that information is stored in DNA. It will focus on short forms of RNA molecules that are made directly from DNA, and in particular how they are involved in controlling and coordinating the expression of genetic information.

To study these molecules, the researchers will study a particular brain receptor that controls appetite and food uptake, because it is assumed that small RNA molecules are the master controllers that determine what genes are used.

The hope is to learn about how genomic information is used to build an organism, because it could be helpful in designing drugs and to inform molecular biology in general.

Researchers on the project include Professor Ruth Sperling of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University and Stefan Stamm at the University of Kentucky.