Study Sheds Light on Possible Therapeutic Approach for Neurodegenerative Disease

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Logo

CINCINNATI, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Scientists partially re-insulated ravaged nerves in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and restored limb mobility by treating the animals with a small non-coding RNA called a microRNA.

In a study published online March 27 in Developmental Cell, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report that treatment with a microRNA called miR-219 restarted production of a substance called myelin in nerves of the central nervous system. Myelin forms a protective sheath around nerves, allowing them to efficiently transmit electrical impulses that stimulate movement.

Study authors administered miR-219 into the spinal columns and cerebrospinal fluid of mice with nerve coatings damaged by a chemical called lysolecithin or by autoimmune encephalomyelitis induced in the animals, which is used to model MS. Treatment with miR-219 reinvigorated the function of damaged cells called oligodendrocytes that produce myelin, which allowed the substance to reform and reinsulate nerves.

“We show that miR-219 targets multiple processes that inhibit myelin formation after nerve injury by the disease process, and that treatment with this microRNA partially restores myelination and limb function,” said Q. Richard Lu, PhD, lead investigator and scientific director of the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “It is conceivable that augmenting miR-219 treatment with other blockers of myelin regrowth may provide a multipoint treatment strategy for people with demyelinating diseases like MS.”

The authors stress that because their study was conducted in [click to continue…]


Indrani Das of New Jersey Wins $250,000 Top Award with microRNA-124a related research.

Forty Finalists From Across U.S. Take Home More Than $1.8 Million inNation’s Oldest and Most Prestigious High School Science and Mathematics Competition


WASHINGTON, March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Society for Science & the Public and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) announced that Indrani Das, 17, of Oradell, New Jersey, won the top award in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition. Forty finalists, including Indrani, were honored tonight at the annual Regeneron Science Talent Search Awards Gala for their research projects demonstrating exceptional scientific and mathematical ability, taking home more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.

Regeneron Science Talent Search Winners 2017 Washington, D.C., March 14, 2017-Indrani Das, 17, of Oradell, New Jersey, wins top prize and $250,000 in Regeneron Science Talent Search, founded and produced by Society for Science & the Public.


Indrani Das, 17, of Oradell, New Jersey, won the top award of $250,000 for her study of a possible approach to treating the death of neurons due to brain injury or neurodegenerative disease. A contributor to neuron death is astrogliosis, a condition that occurs when cells called astrocytes react to injury by growing, dividing and reducing their uptake of glutamate, which in excess is toxic to neurons. In a laboratory model, she showed that exosomes isolated from astrocytes transfected with microRNA-124a both improved astrocyte uptake of glutamate and increased neuron survival. Indrani mentors younger researchers and tutors math in addition to playing the piccolo trumpet in a four-person jazz ensemble.

Second place honors and $175,000 went to Aaron Yeiser, 18, of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, for his development of a new mathematical method for solving partial differential equations on complicated geometries. Partial differential equations are ubiquitous in science and engineering and are currently solved using computers. He developed a more efficient way to do this and [click to continue…]


Ever had trouble explaining what you are doing? Now there is help…

If you haven’t seen it on our Facebook page yet:
Thanks go to Katharina Petsche who created a 3D medical animation about microRNAs‬ for her master graduation project.
Very Cool!

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MicroRNA-31 Might Predict Lung-Cancer Spread

by Christoph on September 25, 2013

in News

  • Determining whether lung cancer has spread is critical for identifying the most effective therapy.
  • This study found that high levels of microRNA-31 indicate that the tumor has spread and signals a poor prognosis.
  • The findings might lead to improved treatment for some people with the most common form of lung cancer.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Determining whether a patient’s lung cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes is critical for identifying the most effective therapy, but it usually requires surgery. A new study suggests, however, that measuring levels of a particular molecule in a sample of tumor tissue might accurately answer the question.
Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) have discovered that levels of microRNA-31 (miR-31) predict the spread of the most common form of lung cancer to nearby lymph nodes.
They found that high levels of miR-31 in primary tumor cells predicted lymph node metastasis and poor survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Low expression levels were associated with the absence of metastases and excellent survival.
The findings are published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research:

MicroRNA-31 Predicts the Presence of Lymph Node Metastases and Survival in Patients with Lung Adenocarcinoma.

Meng W, Ye Z, Cui R, Perry J, Dedousi-Huebner V, Huebner A, Wang Y, Li B, Volinia S, Nakanishi H, Kim T, Suh SS, Ayers LW, Ross P, Croce CM, Chakravarti A, Jin VX, Lautenschlaeger T.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23946296 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

“Our findings suggest that microRNA expression in the primary lung tumor can estimate whether the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes and can help direct patients to the most appropriate [click to continue…]


Research Published in the New England Journal of Medicine Demonstrates Marked and Long-Lasting Antiviral Activity Against HCV for Santaris Pharma A/S’ Miravirsen, the First MicroRNA-Targeted Drug to Enter Clinical Trials

Santaris Pharma LogoHOERSHOLM, Denmark and SAN DIEGO, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Santaris Pharma A/S, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of RNA-targeted therapies, today announced the publication of study results online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The publication highlights the potential benefits of miravirsen, a host-targeted, pan-HCV genotype anti-viral agent and the first microRNA-targeted drug to enter clinical trials for the treatment of Hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the study, miravirsen, given as a four-week monotherapy treatment, provided robust dose-dependent antiviral activity with a mean reduction of 2 to 3 logs from baseline in HCV RNA (log10 IU/mL). The effect was sustained well beyond the end of therapy.

Clinical data from the Phase 2a study demonstrated the following:

  • Miravirsen was safe, well tolerated and provided prolonged antiviral activity well after the last dose of miravirsen monotherapy (x5 weekly injections)
  • There were no signs of viral resistance
  • Adverse events were infrequent, mild and did not lead to study drug discontinuation
  • There were no dose limiting toxicities or discontinuations due to adverse events
  • Miravirsen was associated with dose-dependent reductions in [click to continue…]

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Firefly BioWorks Announces New Grant for microRNA Research

February 11, 2013

Dr. Davide Marini, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Firefly BioWorks announced today the creation of the Firefly Frontiers Grant: “We are excited to provide financial support to researchers for expanding the horizons of microRNA research. We encourage applicants to explore high-impact questions and those high-risk explorations that would not be normally funded through a traditional […]

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MicroRNAs in plants: Regulation of the regulator

November 8, 2012

A phosphate switch to fine-tune the protein production in the cells: Fast-Forward Genetics Identifies Plant CPL Phosphatases as Regulators of miRNA Processing Factor HYL1   MicroRNAs are essential regulators of the genetic program in multicellular organisms. Because of their potent effects, the production of these small regulators has itself to be tightly controlled. That is […]

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Upcoming Cancer microRNA Webinar

July 9, 2012

Title: Recent Work & Current Methods in Cancer microRNA Research – The 2nd in a series of microRNA Webinars presented by LC Sciences Date: Wed 7/11/12 Please register for the webinar by selecting the presentation time that is most convenient for your timezone. North America  – 1:00 Central Daylight Time Europe – 1:00 PM Greenwich […]

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Microcosmos of Cancer: A Mini Review

February 21, 2012

In this week’s issue of Nature , two researchers at the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have published a review discussing the diverse contribution microRNA networks exhibit in cancer biology. Lujambio et. al. discuss both the oncogenic and tumor-suppressor roles microRNA have been attributed in the initiation and progression of multiple […]

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Life Technologies offers 2 TaqMan® qPCR grants

October 5, 2011

Life Technologies has 2 TaqMan® qPCR consumables grants available for European research teams*. You have the opportunity to make your project come to life with a grant of either 10,000 or 5,000 euros*. To apply for the grant you will need to tell Life Technologies about a specific challenge you would like to tackle, what […]

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