<figcaption> Credit: Adapted from Nature Genetics</figcaption>
Credit: Adapted from Nature Genetics

The paper:

I. Bentwich et al., "Identification of hundreds of conserved and nonconserved human microRNAs," Nat Gen , 37:766-70, 2005. (Cited in 148 papers) [PUBMED]

The finding:

Isaac Bentwich and colleagues at Rosetta Genomics upped the number of sequenced human microRNAs using a new technique integrating bioinformatic predictions with microarray analysis, cloning, and sequencing. Of the 89 new human microRNAs sequenced, 53 are unique to primates, lending credence to the suggestion that the short segments may be what Bentwich calls, "the switches that drive evolution."

The new tool:

Bentwich says that using computers to comb genomes for microRNAs was a relatively new approach when his group began the project in 2000. "Biologists were used to using lab coats and plastic tubes as their mainstays for finding genes," he says.

The impact:

"Our work sort of broke the sound barrier of a previous notion...

The numbers:
Human microRNAs identified
Before publication of the paper: 222
Upon publication of the paper: 331
As of July 2007: 475

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