Wistar Wire: Genes

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Long segments of RNA—encoded in our DNA but not translated into protein—are key to physically manipulating DNA in order to activate certain genes. These non-coding RNA-activators (ncRNA-a) have a crucial role in turning genes on and off during early embryonic development. They have also been connected with diseases, including some cancers, in adults. In an online article of the journal Nature, a team of scientists led by Wistar’s Ramin Shiekhattar, Ph.D., detail the mechanism by which long non-coding RNA-activators promote gene expression.
Genes
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The molecular world that exists within our cells is constantly changing as cells adapt to the complex environment within our bodies. Wistar researchers work to unravel this confusing tangle of molecules, in order to understand how disease begins on a molecular level—and to develop new drugs for diseases such as cancer.
Cancer, Genes
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Congratulations are in order for The Cancer Genome Atlas Network, for their publication in Nature over the weekend that announced the most comprehensive analysis of breast cancer genetics yet published. Their findings have shown how the disease can be categorized by four distinct genetic profiles, and have identified genetic markers within each category that might advance cancer care by providing new, druggable targets.
Cancer, Genes
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A BRAF inhibitor known as vemurafenib (Zelboraf) has been touted as a breakthrough melanoma treatment. But for some patients, the price of success is a mutation that leads to the development of secondary skin cancers called squamous cell carcinomas. In an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine, Wistar researcher Ashani Weeraratna, Ph.D., discusses the success of a new combination treatment.
Cancer, Genes, Melanoma