Every time we scientists think that we have dissected the precise biological nature of a process, an incidental finding, a brilliantly designed experiment, or an unexpected result can turn our world upside down. Until recently thought by many to be cellular “junk” because they do not encode proteins, non-coding RNAs are gaining a growing recognition for their roles in the regulation of a wide scope of processes, ranging from embryogenesis and development to cancer and degenerative disorders. The aim of this class is to introduce the diversity of the RNA world, inhabited by microRNAs, lincRNAs, piRNAs, and many others.
This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.