Planarians have fascinated scientists for decades. Their prowess of regeneration allows the planarians to grow entire individuals from a tiny fragment of the body, or for individuals to generate multiple organ systems upon making an incision. Various studies have explored the genetic mechanism behind this regeneration in the organism. In a recent study scientists from Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine have uncovered the function of microRNA's a particular kind of genetic material in the regeneration of brain and eyes in planarians.
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Scientists have unearthed a natural biochemical entity from our own body, called microRNAs that could soon become a coveted tool in our disease-fighting arsenal. With the dawn of the genomic era, our fight against major diseases is increasingly getting channelized towards acquiring a fresh perspective of disease metabolism and consequently devising newer molecular strategies to combat these diseases. MicroRNAs (or miRNA) are one such new kid on the block, which have completely changed our perspective towards designing disease therapeutics. MicroRNAs are tiny RNA molecules that were once thought to be a waste product of our protein-producing machinery. Made of the same building blocks as our DNA, these pygmy RNA molecules could very well be the answer to curing diseases like cancer, diabetes, viral infections, genetic defects & many other metabolic disorders.