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RNA Network Seen In Live Bacterial Cells For First Time

Scientists who study RNA have faced a formidable roadblock: trying to examine RNA's movements in a living cell when they can't see the RNA. Now, a new technology has given scientists the first look ever at RNA in a live bacteria cell -- a sight that could offer new information about how the molecule moves and works.

Interest in RNA, which plays a key role in manufacturing proteins, has increased in recent years, due in large part to its potential in new drug therapies. RNA localization and movement in bacterial cell are poorly understood. The problem has been finding a way to mark RNA in a living cell so that scientists can track it, says Natasha Broude, a research associate professor at Boston University's Department of Biomedical Engineering.

"You can label any protein within the cell and watch what it is doing," says Broude, a senior researcher on the new study, published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "For RNA it was much more difficult because RNA is more mobile and less stable than both proteins and DNA."
 
 

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