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Alternative miRNA design for therapeutic RNAi applications
Anja van Brabant Smith, Barb Robertson, Annaleen Vermeulen, Christina Yamada, Angela Reynolds, Anastasia Khvorova, Devin Leake

For in vivo applications, the design of miRNA inhibitors and miRNA mimics must be optimized for stability and potency. However, stabilized miRNA mimic molecules can lose functionality compared to standard miRNA mimic molecules due, in part, to the activity of the stabilized passenger strand acting as a miRNA inhibitor. We discuss how mismatches affect the activity of the stabilized miRNA mimics, perhaps by generating a passenger strand that is less functional as an inhibitor molecule.

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Cas9 driven by an optimal promoter improves gene editing in eukaryotic cell lines when paired with synthetic crRNA and tracrRNA
Amanda Haupt, Emily Anderson, Žaklina Strezoska, Hidevaldo Machado, Shawn McClelland, Maren Mayer, Adam Rocker, Annaleen Vermeulen, Amanda Birmingham, Melissa Kelley, Anja Smith

Presented here are results on the efficiency of using synthetic crRNA and tracrRNA to introduce gene editing events when co-transfected with a plasmid expressing Cas9. We explored the use of antibiotic and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) methods for enrichment of cells that have undergone gene editing, and the use of multiple promoters to increase efficiency of gene editing with Cas9 and synthetic tracrRNA and crRNAs.

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Specificity and functionality of microRNA inhibitors
Barbara Robertson, Andrew Dalby, Jon Karpilow, Anastasia Khvorova, Devin Leake and Annaleen Vermeulen

Our findings indicate that features important for natural miRNA target recognition also appear to be important for inhibitor specificity. Understanding the specificity of inhibitors allows for better interpretation of inhibitor activity in endogenous systems.

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Identification of microRNA targets using microRNA modulation techniques and gene expression arrays
Emily M. Anderson, Maren Mayer, Kevin Sullivan, Barbara Robertson, Žaklina Strezoska, Annaleen Vermeulen, and Devin Leake

By examining the overlap of messages down-regulated by miRNA mimics and up-regulated by miRNA inhibitors, we robustly identify miRNA-regulated messages, many of which have canonical seed matches and some which are not identied by standard target prediction programs.

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siRNA Screening: Development of Hit Stratification Strategies
Žaklina Strezoska, Annaleen Vermeulen, Emily M. Anderson, Anja Smith, Devin Leake

This poster compares different approaches to hit stratification and validation after an initial screen. Standard siRNA reagents deconvoluted from a pooled set of four were compared to a pooled set of four specificity enhanced reagents. High confidence hits were similar. To explore the validity of low confidence hits, a chimeric approach was used whereby a gene-specific seed sequence was introduced into a non-targeting siRNA scaffold. This work resulted in new hit stratification strategies.

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The Chemical Synthesis of Long and Highly Modified RNA using 2'-ACE Chemistry
Xiaoqin Cheng, Kristina Larson, Letitia Kwok, David Mierzejewski, Shawn Begay, Randy Rauen, Kelly Grimsley, Kaizhang He, Michael Delaney, David Kitchen, Amanda Haas, Melissa Kelley, Anja van Brabant Smith

Dharmacon has previously developed a novel RNA synthesis chemistry making RNA synthesis as reliable, accessible and of comparable quality as routinely observed in DNA synthesis.

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Targeting Cancer Stem Cell-Related miRNAs for Prostate Cancer Therapy
ANSHIKA NIKITA SINGH, MEGHNA BARUAH, NEETI SHARMA

The poster focuses on the pivotal function of miRNAs in tumorigenesis by regulation of self renewal and apoptosis via cancer stem cell signalling pathways with special focus on their regulation of Epithelial to Mesenchymal transition in metastatic prostate cancer.

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Identification of microRNA targets using microRNA modulation techniques and gene expression arrays
Emily M. Anderson, Maren Mayer, Kevin Sullivan, Barbara Robertson, Žaklina Strezoska, Annaleen Vermeulen, and Devin Leake

By examining the overlap of messages down-regulated by miRNA mimics and up-regulated by miRNA inhibitors, we robustly identify miRNA-regulated messages, many of which have canonical seed matches and some which are not identied by standard target prediction programs.

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Integrating Fluorescent Carbon Nanodot Synthesis and Optical Detection of Methylmercury
Carlos Bendicho, Isabel Costas-Mora, Vanesa Romero, Isela Lavilla

In the last years, a great interest toward development of optical nanoprobes has arisen, so fluorescent nanomaterials have been implemented in analytical systems for the detection of several species. In this work, a novel assay that integrates the synthesis of fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) and sensing within one step, for the fast, sensitive and selective detection of methylmercury is presented.

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Scientific News
Genetic Ancestry of Cultivated Strawberry Unravelled
UNH scientists constructed a linkage map of the seven chromosomes of the diploid Fragaria iinumae, which allows them to fill in a piece of the genetic puzzle about the eight sets of chromosomes of the cultivated strawberry.
Controlling DNA Repair
Scientists discover that DNA repair outcomes following CRISPR-Cas9 cleaving are non-random and can be harnessed to produce desired effects.
From Fins to Fingers
New gene-editing methods help the mapping of cells linking fish fins and mammalian limbs.
Unravelling a Microbial Mess
Scientists have untangled the Kansas-based mess of microbes more fully than scientists have ever done for a sample of soil.
Tobacco Hornworm Genome Sequenced
A Kansas State University-led international team has sequenced the genome of the tobacco hornworm — a caterpillar species used in many research laboratories for studies of insect biology.
Zeroing In On Better Mandarin Traits
Scientists from the University of Florida have identified genetic markers that could be used to increase mandarin quality.
The Genetics Behind Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the United States. And while much is understood about the biochemistry of anxiety, little is known about the genetic variation associated with it.
How Cloud Connectivity Can Combat the Reproducibility Crisis
This infographic explains the reproducibility crisis, and how cloud connectivity can help overcome this problem.
Genome Sequencing May Help Avert Banana Armageddon
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and in the Netherlands have discovered how three fungal diseases have evolved into a lethal threat to the world’s bananas.
Virus Attracts Bumblebees to Infected Plants by Changing Scent
Study of bee-manipulating plant virus reveals that replicating the scent caused by infection could encourage declining bee populations to pollinate crops.
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