miRNAs Have Such Rock Star Status That Real Rock Stars Write About Them

Tonight I went to a concert in which the two bands I went to see were fronted by biologists: Bad Religion (Greg Graffin Ph.D) and Offspring ("Dexter" Holland soon to be Ph.D). 

I go curious as to what they've been publishing in the biomedical literature and found a cool paper published during 2013 in PLoS ONE whose first author is Bryan Holland of Offspring.

I read the paper and it is fascinating. 

The subject of the paper is the phenomenon of miRNA's. These are non-coding (i.e. non-protein making) short pieces of RNA that function to regulate genes. What Holland's paper focuses is on  is miRNA's within the genome of HIV.  The paper argues that 8 miRNA like sequences found in HIV may bind to cellular targets and be responsible for dysregulation of cellular genes. This dysregulation may play a role in HIV's ability to evade host defense, something it does quite readily.

I find the whole topic of RNA fascinating because as the myriad functions of RNA (tRNA, ribozymes, RNAi, miRNA, siRNAs, snRNPs, etc) are detailed it is clear how versatile this molecule is giving a lot of validity that our modern DNA world evolved from an RNA one.