Essay on A Research Study On Junk Dna

703 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 3 Pages
I was first introduced to the Human Genome project in 2000, where my molecular biology professor explained genes as small units of DNA in a sea of genetic gibberish or junk. The concept of “junk DNA”was very intriguing to me that why nature created those billions of nucleotides of DNA inside a cell, organized it and packed it without any purpose? Soon I started following the thoughts of Francis Crick, Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of DNA double-helix, who in the early 1960s professed his views on intronic regions of DNA as “little better than junk.” That journey led me to study the “non-coding” part of the genome, which we now know constitute 97% of the human genome. My doctoral thesis at the University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, Texas) was focused on the structural aspects of one of those non-coding products called ribozymes-the RNA molecules that can catalyze biological reactions like a protein.

As I was finishing the thesis, I wanted to explore the functions of these non-coding RNA molecules in humans and their role in diseases. Soon after Ph.D., I joined the RNA research group led by Dr. Claes Wahlestedt, at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) at Jupiter, Florida. Successful completion of my research project reported an important proof-of-concept milestone in nonhuman primates and human cell-lines that verified specific targeting of non-coding RNA with siRNAs and antisense oligo could increase the Apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) protein levels, a key target in…

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