April 02, 2020
Squids are incredible creatures; some are even the stuff of legends. Now a new discovery made in these cephalopods may offer new avenues to advance human medicine.
A team of researchers led by the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole have discovered that the longfin inshore squid is capable of editing its RNA outside of the cell nucleus. In fact, this RNA editing is occurring in the long axons of the 60,000 brain cells of the squid.
It is not yet clear exactly why the squid does this, but the implications for medicine are clear. Unlike Crispr technology, a powerful tool for editing genomes to make permanent changes to our DNA sequences and modifying gene function, RNA editing could provide temporary therapeutic measures to help with conditions such as muscular dystrophy.
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