A milestone in small RNA biology: piRNA biogenesis from start to finish
Organisms are in a constant battle against viruses, or transposable elements, which invade their genomes. Among their most effective weapons are silencing pathways that use small RNAs to selectively target invading nucleic acids for their destruction. The molecular understanding of these defense systems has revolutionized modern molecular biology, as they are the basis for powerful genome editing and gene silencing methods such as CRISPR/Cas9 or RNA interference. Scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna (IMBA) have now unravelled the precise mechanisms by which germline cells produce a class of small RNAs, called piRNAs, that control transposon silencing in animals. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)
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