The Genomic Handymen

The February 2011 IPA release will feature additions for researchers working with microRNAs, also known with a catchy phrase as The Genomic Handymen. IPA currently includes predicted and experimentally demonstrated mRNA targets, mRNA targets of microRNAs, and can also build microRNA-mRNA target networks.

What’s a genomic handyman? This catchy term was used by Genome Technology in a recent article on microRNAs. Most of us know microRNAs play a crucial role in regulating gene expression, but there is still much we still don’t know.  Can they function as indicators or modulators of gene expression in the clinic? How are they regulated, and what role do they play in gene expression on levels such as epigenetic regulation? Tracy Vence, the article’s author, argues that these may be key areas for further research.

How will scientists tackle these questions?  Data analysis and exploration software, like IPA, may be key.  IPA includes predicted and experimentally demonstrated mRNA targets,  so researchers can analyze data from microRNA platforms to better understand cellular processes, diseases, and phenotypes that are impacted by the differential expression of microRNA in disease.  Researchers can also find predicted and demonstrated mRNA targets of microRNAs, and build microRNA-mRNA target networks.

Check out a recent publication which used IPA for genomic analysis of microRNA time-course expression data at BioMed Central. You can search our library for additional microRNA publications here.

(Psst! Stay tuned for our February IPA release to see some new additions that will benefit researchers working with microRNAs.)

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