The Carthew Lab

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RNA Biology
Physical and Systems Biology

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Gene Silencing by RNA

The genes in our genomes are usually considered “good for us” and therefore conserved and carefully expressed through our lifetimes and the lifetimes of future generations. Yet paradoxically, an ancient biochemical mechanism exists to specifically silence gene expression. This system relies upon RNA to guide the silencing.


RNA-Based Gene Regulation

Genomes contain thousands of genes and their expression is controlled by transcription. Although it was thought that transcription fidelity ensures that genes do not make double-stranded transcripts (dsRNA), this is not entirely true. Convergent transcription of neighboring genes can generate dsRNA where they overlap.


A Physical View of Cell Biology

The cells in our bodies must fit together seamlessly in tissues and organs, adopting specific shapes to function properly. How do cells change their order and shape to collectively form the complex organs of our bodies? What are the rules that carry this out, and can we harness these rules for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine?