No Junk DNA…It’s All Good!

from Zone in With Zon

A Short Walk in the Wondrous, Wacky World of Long—and now Circular—Noncoding RNAs

I’m pleased by how much I learn when researching topics for new content, and this was certainly the case for long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), which was briefly mentioned in my last blog post, “Ripples from the 2013 TIDES Conference.”  The topic piqued my interest so I set out to find out more. Plowing through lncRNA (aka lincRNA = large intergenic non-coding RNA) literature I quickly realized that there was an enormous amount of information, and the big challenge would be to capture some intriguing aspects without getting bogged down in “technical weeds” or being overly simplistic. In what follows there is a super brief introduction to what lncRNAs are and what they do—the latter is controversial—along with an appreciation for why lncRNAs are indeed a structurally and functionally wondrous class of nucleic acids that now encompass circular molecules. Maybe—to borrow from Forrest Gump—lncRNAs are like “a box of chocolates” for molecular biologists.

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