From Jun-An Chen and Simon Conn at Genome Biology:
Abstract: A report on the Second Aegean International Conference on the Long and the Short of Non-Coding RNAs, held in Heraklion, Greece, 9–14 June 2017.
Investigations into gene regulation and disease pathogenesis have been protein-centric for decades. However, in recent years there has been a profound expansion in our knowledge of the variety and complexity of eukaryotic RNA species, particularly the non-coding RNA families. Vast amounts of RNA sequencing data generated from various library preparation methods have revealed these non-coding RNA species to be unequivocally more abundant than canonical mRNA species. Furthermore, insight into the diverse mechanisms and functional roles of these RNA transcripts is emerging, pointing to their roles in maintaining cellular homeostasis and gene regulation and/or directing various pathologies.
The Second Aegean International Conference on the Long and the Short of Non-Coding RNAs focused on the key contemporary findings in this field. Organised by a scientific committee comprising Judy Lieberman (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA), Zissimos Mourelatos (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA) and Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA), the conference was held at the Aldemar Knossos Royal Village Conference Center in Heraklion, Crete (Greece), 9–14 June 2017, and was attended by 125 delegates from numerous countries. There were no defined keynote talks, but 25 invited talks and 15 short contributed talks, covering a breadth of small and long non-coding RNA species from yeast, Drosophila, plants and mammals, even presenting the therapeutic potential of these molecules in various diseases. Plenary talks were further complemented by active poster sessions, where participants engaged with more than 85 poster presenters during conference breaks.
In this report, we briefly recount the conference content by providing condensed, headline-style summaries of the research described in the talks and some of the posters. Within the scope of this brief report we have highlighted three key research themes: non-coding RNAs in disease; circular RNAs and their formation and function; and RNA stability. However, we cannot possibly do justice to the quality and quantity of all work presented. We would like to stress that omissions from this report are not based on quality, but simply a personal judgement as to which material could be most coherently presented within limited space.
But it probably isn’t mostly junk:
Furthermore, insight into the diverse mechanisms and functional roles of these RNA transcripts is emerging, pointing to their roles in maintaining cellular homeostasis and gene regulation and/or directing various pathologies. More.
Junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness any more.
Anyone remember ENCODE? Not much junk DNA? Still not much. (Paper is open access.)
Yes, Darwin’s followers did use junk DNA as an argument for their position.
Another response to Darwin’s followers’ attack on the “not-much-junk-DNA” ENCODE findings
Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista