Yale University Scientists Discover Tiny RNAs Play a Big Role in Controlling Genes
10/26/2007 12:54:12 AM
New Haven, Conn. — A study by researchers at the Yale Stem Cell Center for the first time demonstrates that piRNAs, a recently discovered class of tiny RNAs, play an important role in controlling gene function, it was reported this week in Nature.
Haifan Lin, director of the stem cell center and professor of cell biology at Yale School of Medicine, heads the laboratory that originally identified piRNAs. Derived mostly from so-called “junk DNA,” piRNAs had escaped the attention of generations of geneticists and molecular biologists until last year when Lin’s team discovered them in mammalian reproductive cells, and named them.