Monday, July 30, 2012

Mammalian RNAi Review

On my desk to ready today? A thought-provoking review on progress made and the future of RNAi as a tool in mammalian cells.

Kaelin WG Jr. Molecular biology. Use and abuse of RNAi to study mammalian gene function. Science. 2012 Jul 27;337(6093):421-2. PubMed PMID: 22837515.

Among the recommendations made for the future of mammalian RNAi is screening of smaller focused gene sets with more unique reagents per gene. The DRSC facilitates a similar approach in Drosophila cell-based RNAi screening via availability of deeper-coverage focused or 'sub' libraries and custom dsRNA synthesis for a set of genes based on our existing collection of templates.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


A new blog.

Drosophila Models of Human Disease
The fly community has a general interest in spreading the word about the utility of Drosophila to study human disease. As more gets posted and more experts contribute, we should build a valuable resource with links to papers, fly stocks, relevant tools, and more. If you are interested to contribute a disease summary, highlight a new resource, etc. on a on-time or continuing basis, please get in touch.

Friday, July 6, 2012

World's Tiniest Fly

This has nothing to do with RNAi. Or D. melanogaster. But I cannot resist pointing out a recent New York Times article on the world's tiniest fly.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Somatic Homolog Pairing--Genome-Wide Screen

On my desk to read today?  A new report of a screen performed at the DRSC and focused on somatic homolog pairing.  For a related study, check out the Joyce et al. paper mentioned in a previous post.

Bateman et al. (2012) "A Genome-Wide Screen Identifies Genes That Affect Somatic Homolog Pairing in Drosophila" in G3 (Genes, Genomes and Genetics).

On Orthologs, GWAS and Fly Models of Disease

A nice mention of the DRSC Integrative Ortholog Prediction Tool (DIOPT) (Hu et al. in BMC Bioinformatics) appeared recently in a Current Biology dispatch highlighting a Drosophila study investigating genes related to Restless Leg Syndrome.

Shaw & Duntley "Neurological Disorders: Towards a Mechanistic Understanding of Restless Leg Syndrome" Current Biology 22(12).

The study highlighted in the dispatch (Freeman et al. "Sleep fragmentation and motor restlessness in a Drosophila model of restless leg syndromeCurrent Biology 22:1142-1148") takes human genome-wide association study (GWAS) data into a model system for functional characterization.

Shaw & Duntley state that "one of the most compelling aspects of the approach of Freeman et al. is the successful use of a model system to functionally characterize a susceptibility gene that was original identified in human genome-wide association studies" and that "the use of model systems to functionally characterize genes identified with genome-wide association studies is a move in the right direction."

At the DRSC, we are excited to see that our bioinformatics tools, as well as our RNAi reagents for cells and in vivo, can have a positive impact on the use of Drosophila to study human disease-related genes and develop disease models.

GenomeRNAi v.8 released

The folks at the DKFZ announced the v.8 release of GenomeRNAi recently. They're up to 127 human RNAi screen data sets and 164 fly RNAi screen data sets.  The fly data sets include screens done at the DRSC, a number of in vivo RNAi screens, and more. Check it out!