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FASEB J. 2009 Jul;23(7):2019-21. doi: 10.1096/fj.09-0702.

The discovery of eukaryotic genome design and its forgotten corollary--the postulate of gene regulation by nuclear RNA.

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  • 1Program in Cell and Developmental Dynamics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

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  • FASEB J. 2009 Dec;23(12):4370.


We now know that more of the DNA in eukaryotic cells is copied into RNA than previously had been thought. Many of these transcripts serve regulatory instead of template functions in gene readout. Some of these newly recognized RNAs come from regions of the genome that had heretofore been deemed "junk DNA," yet no one could answer the obvious question: if "junk," then why still around? Before memory fades, we should note that there were some reasonably well articulated ideas 30-40 years ago that anticipated these recent discoveries. It seems fitting to recall the prescience of those who first raised such unorthodoxy. They powerfully catalyzed progress.

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