MicroRNA profile analysis has been developed as a tool to diagnose cancer by scientists of Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Researchers have also been able to develop a technology that will be able to test the microRNA profile through an easy and not expensive diagnostic test.
MicroRNA (miRNA) are small RNA molecules that control the level of proteins made from transcribed genes. Researchers have discovered that there exists an association between the microRNA profile of the human beings and the development of tumors in different parts of the body.
The researchers have established that there exists a correlation between the pattern of expression of microRNA and cancer. They have developed a technology that uses a bead-based miRNA capture method. In this process each individual bead will be marked with florescence tags that will be able to reveal the destination and the presence of the microRNA in the sample.
The researchers have then tested their discovery against a panel of tumor samples whose histological origins were unknown. The microRNA classification had proved unique for the kind of tumor and its presence and thus the procedure could accurately compare the expression patterns of the messenger microRNAs.
Reference: Nature, June 2005