Volume 94 Issue 24 | p. 8 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 13, 2016

Chemical reaction lights the way for tracking microRNA in living organisms

Imaging probes provide first-ever technique for visualizing small RNA sequences that control gene expression in vivo
By Alla Katsnelson, special to C&EN
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: Imaging, biological chemistry, nucleic acid, microRNA, zebrafish, ruthenium, rhodium

Researchers have developed a light-induced chemical reaction that visualizes RNA in live zebrafish embryos without interfering with cell processes. In previous work, the team applied the method to cells in culture. But now the researchers have developed the method as the first technique for detecting specific strings of nucleic acids in live vertebrates that doesn’t require genetically modifying the organisms. What’s more, the method is sensitive enough to visualize the expression of microRNAs, which are . . .

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