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Although we know a lot more about the human genome now than we did prior to the start of the Human Genome Project almost two decades ago, countless questions remain, as do research opportunities. At the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University in the UK, Dr. Andreas Werner is carrying out research on noncoding RNA molecules, which comprise a significant percentage of the genome and have long been regarded as “junk” or “dark matter” elements of the genome. According to Dr. Werner and a growing body of research, noncoding RNA actually plays a significant role in the human body by helping to drive transcription, regulate the expression of proteins, and contribute to the evolution of organisms. He explains the extremely context-dependent nature of noncoding RNA especially as it relates to the expression of certain diseases, and offers an overall intriguing and informative conversation that takes an in-depth look at the science behind his research.

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