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Biology Articles » Biotechnology » Mount Sinai researchers discover technology that silences genes
Mount Sinai researchers have developed a new gene silencing technology
that could be used to target genes that can lead to the development of
certain diseases. This technology could pave the way for preventing
diseases where gene dysfunction plays a role. The groundbreaking
research was led by Ming-Ming Zhou, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of
the Department of Structural and Chemical Biology at Mount Sinai School
of Medicine. The findings, which will be published in the September
issue of Nature Cell Biology, are available on the magazine's web site as of today.
"By being able to silence certain genes, we may be able to suppress
genes that can cause diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, inflammation
and diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. We now know
we can focus on these genes and potentially change the ultimate course
of many diseases that have a major impact on people's lives," says Dr.
In the study, Dr. Zhou, Shiraz Mujtaba, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
of Structural and Chemical Biology at Mount Sinai and their colleagues
discovered that Paramecium bursaria chlorella virus uses a viral
protein to modify host DNA packing chromatin and switch host
transcription machinery for viral replication. Based on this finding,
researchers were able to develop a new gene targeting technology that
effectively suppresses transcriptional expression of targeted genes in
human cells, including genes that are linked to the onset of a number
Source : The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. August 2008.
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