AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
PHILADELPHIA -- The popular view is that DNA and genes control everything of importance in biology. The genome rules all of life, it is thought.
Increasingly, however, scientists are realizing that among the diverse forms of RNA, a kind of mirror molecule derived from DNA, many interact with each other and with genes directly to manage the genome from behind the scenes.
In particular, RNA produced by the vast stretches of DNA that do not code for any genes - long considered "junk" DNA - may in fact be serving vital duty by governing important aspects of gene expression. This type of RNA is called non-coding RNA, meaning that although it may be biologically active, it does not carry the instructions for producing any protein in the body.
The importance of better understanding these non-coding forms of RNA is underscored by the fact that they are known to play roles in such critical processes …