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Bangalore based Lab discovered Iron based RNA named as Sensei
Bangalore based Lab discovered Iron based RNA named as Sensei

Iron sensing RNA called Sensei has been discovered by the city-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS). This discovery is the first that shows RNA can directly sense iron and act as metal regulators that regulate genes in response to metals. “Their work provides a newer understanding of the role of RNAs as versatile sensors and how they adopt complex structures which allow them to interact with a range of chemically diverse molecules,” said NCBS.

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“This nano-scale engineering of iron sensing that we demonstrate, will hopefully set the stage for designing iron-biosensors which could be of use to bacterial biology and biomedicine, “said Ramesh of Arati Ramesh’s Lab where Sensei has been discovered. The lab was involved in a study about Nickel and Cobalt sensing bacterial RNAs (NiCo RNAs) and the idea about Iron RNA has emerged. During NiCo RNA study, similar clover leaf architecture to NiCO RNAs was identified and is different. This differentiation led to further investigation and experiments to understand and scrutinize the new RNA.

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The iron sensing was identified when the team begins the testing by keeping the novel RNA and Iron in two chambers separated by a membrane that allows only Iron to pass through. The results revealed that these RNAs attracted iron towards their chamber and led to the official identification of Sensei (Sense iron), a statement of NCBS. Iron controls various cellular processes in the day and is found abundantly. Iron plays a very important role in Biology. RNA is molecules that decrypt an organism’s genetic code into protein message.

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