A new vaccine strategy, which uses synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) instead of proteins purified from viruses, could make flu shots cheaper, safer, and easier to produce. German scientists have shown that they have been able to protect mice, ferrets, and pigs against influenza.
Cardiac stress that’s caused by a heart attack or high blood pressure will frequently lead to pathological heart growth and eventually lead to heart failure. Researchers have discovered that two micro-scale RNA molecules, microRNA miR-212 and miR-132 play a role in this detrimental development in mice. When these molecules were inhibited, the mice were protected against pathological heart growth and failure. Researchers hope to adapt these findings and develop therapeutic approaches that would work in humans.
Chemists are close to showing that DNA could form spontaneously from chemicals which were present during primordial Earth. If they succeed, the work could imply that DNA could predate the birth of life as we know it.
Octopuses have found a novel way of beating the frigid temperatures of the Antarctic waters by using RNA editing to customize crucial nervous system proteins, allowing them to work at low temperatures. This paper is the first to reveal that RNA editing, not just changes to genes, can lead to adaptations.