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RNA Researchers: Lighting the Way

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 30, 2015) — The challenge in harnessing the promise of RNA therapeutics is making RNA visible enough to be detected using fluorescent chemical tags. Scientists at The RNA Institute, with the help of industry partners, are busy creating this tagging technology.

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, is supporting the pioneering efforts in this area of Maksim Royzen and Mehmet Yigit of the Department of Chemistry and the Institute. Using fluorescent imaging technologies, including a state-of-the-art fluorescence-activated cell sorter, Royzen and Yigit create fluorescent chemical tags that allow cells containing specific RNA, which are implicated in diseases such as cancer, to be sorted and studied.

The ultimate quest is to find new RNA-based therapies and an enhanced molecular understanding of RNA’s role in disease processes and normal cell changes, such as those occurring during development and aging.

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