Category Archives: Science

Scientific research over the past decade has concentrated almost exclusively on the 2 percent of the genome’s protein coding regions, virtually ignoring the other 98 percent, a vast universe of non-coding genetic material previously dismissed as nothing more than ‘junk.’ Now, a team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) reveals that one type — called long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) — may be critically important for controlling cellular components in a tissue-specific manner. Published online today in the journal Nature, the new research points to an lncRNA’s key role in helping control processes related to muscle regeneration and cancer.

Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and international colleagues have identified a genetic immune disorder characterized by increased susceptibility and poor immune control of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and, in some cases, an EBV-associated cancer called Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The researchers studied two unrelated sets of siblings with similar immune problems and determined their symptoms were likely caused by a lack of CD70, a protein found on the surface of several types of immune cells. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, conducted the research with an international team of collaborators.