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Novel regulatory RNAs in bacteria - discovery and characterization
Until recentky, only few RNA-encoding genes had been known in Escherichia coli, here disregarding RNAs and the like. We and others suspected that the bacterial chromosomes might encode, in fact, many small untranslated RNAs that could act as regulators of gene expression (at a post-transcriptional level). The few RNA species that had been found earlier were antisense RNAs involved in stress responses.
Last year we did a systematic search for novel RNAs in E. coli, and found 14 (Current Biology; Vol 11, No.12, p941-950). We have a
second set of new (putative) RNAs that remain to be characterized. So far, none of these new RNAs has a function assigned to it!
If you are interested in a subject area at the forefront of the RNA field, and if you can cope with a subject matter which is not adequately covered in text books, please contact me.
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