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Friday, November 12, 2004

dropping science: RNAi

In addition to the music, books, and politics, I'll try to drop some science up in here from time to time. Actually, I was just thinking earlier this week that I should combine my access to the scientific literature with my interest in political/policy matters, and go deeper on the stem cell issue.

That's a larger project. For now, a couple features on an area of biology that's not getting as much attention in the wider press, but seems to be getting as much if not more in the scientific community: RNA interference.

Actually, RNAi did surface in the mainstream press this week (if you're a member of the "cultural elite" that is, and actually listen to public radio):

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
RNA Treatment Used to Lower Cholesterol in Mice

Researchers use a technique that selectively shuts off genes to lower levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, in mice. The findings, reported in Nature, suggest that RNA interference may be a revolutionary development for medical science.

Here's the item that came through Science's weekly e-mail alert:

10 November 2004
Fighting Cholesterol With RNAi

New delivery system may clear a major hurdle for therapeutic RNA

If you want to further in depth, just so happened I was flipping through our office copy of Scientific American, and came across this article:

Scientific American
Oct 2004
Hitting the Genetic Off Switch
By Gary Stix

A host of start-ups is speeding development of a new class of drugs that block the action of RNA

Unfort SciAm doesn't provide free access to their print edition articles...but at least you have the reference.

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