EngineeringTechnique.jpgA team of researchers from the Washington University
School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSTL) has developed a new technique to
regulate the amount of protein that a particulargene produces. The technique
will allow biologists to tinker with genes, whether the goal is to turn
cells into tiny factories for medicines, modify crops to grow with limited
water, or study the effects of a gene on health.
Dr. Sergej Djuranovic, assistant professor of cell biology and physiology at
WUSTL said that the new technique is "a universal toolkit for modifying gene
expression," and allows scientists to precisely regulate how much protein is
produced from a particular gene. The process is simple and innovative and
works in everything from bacteria to plants to human cells.
The technique takes advantage of mRNA translation, a key step in producing
proteins from DNA. The research team tested the technique in bacteria,
protozoa, yeast, plants, fruit flies, and mouse and human cells. It worked
in all these organisms because RNA translation is an evolutionarily ancient
process that occurs the same way across all lifeforms.
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