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RNA-based methods for developmental studies are featured in CSH Protocols

02/01/2008

RNA-based methods for developmental studies are featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Fri., Feb. 1, 2008) – This month’s issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols ( www.cshprotocols.org/TOCs/toc2_08.dtl ) highlights two methods to understand developmental processes in plants and flies. Both methods involve work with RNA and are freely accessible on the Web site for Cold Spring Harbor Protocols ( www.cshprotocols.org ).

The first protocol describes the use of RNAi to investigate gene function in fruit flies. Short RNA molecules are injected into fly embryos to disrupt the function of a specific gene. The embryos are then allowed to grow until they have reached a desired stage of development, when they are evaluated for changes that may have occurred due to the disruption of the gene.

The protocol, freely accessible at www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/content/full/2008/3/pdb.prot4918, is a recently updated version of one that originally appeared in the book Drosophila Protocols ( www.cshlpress.com/link/drosprot.htm ). It was developed by Dr. Bruce Paterson’s group at the National Institutes of Health (ccr.cancer.gov/staff/staff.asp?profileid=5613). His lab has used the protocol to investigate the regulation of gene expression during development, especially as it relates to muscle formation in the embryo.

The second protocol, available at www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/content/full/2008/3/pdb.prot4944, describes how to detect where and when a gene is expressed in young plant tissues such as embryos, seedlings, floral tissues, and other developing organs. The tissues are stained with a non-radioactive probe that specifically targets RNA molecules from a gene of interest. The staining pattern is then detected by microscopy. Scientists can analyze this staining pattern in a variety of tissue samples at different stages in development to gain a better understanding of the function of that gene. The method can be used to study virtually any plant species and will be useful to many biologists.


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About Cold Spring Harbor Protocols:
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols ( www.cshprotocols.org ) is a monthly peer-reviewed journal of methods used in a wide range of biology laboratories. It is structured to be highly interactive, with each protocol cross-linked to related methods, descriptive information panels, and illustrative material to maximize the total information available to investigators. Each protocol is clearly presented and designed for easy use at the bench—complete with reagents, equipment, and recipe lists. Life science researchers can access the entire collection via institutional site licenses, and can add their suggestions and comments to further refine the techniques.

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is an internationally renowned publisher of books, journals, and electronic media, located on Long Island, New York. Since 1933, it has furthered the advance and spread of scientific knowledge in all areas of genetics and molecular biology, including cancer biology, plant science, bioinformatics, and neurobiology. It is a division of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an innovator in life science research and the education of scientists, students, and the public. For more information, visit www.cshlpress.com

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
For content and submission information:
David Crotty ( crotty@cshl.edu ; 516-422-4007), Executive Editor, Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

For access, subscription, and free trial information:
Stephanie Novara ( novara@cshl.edu ; 516-422-4159), Journals Marketing Manager, CSHL Press



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