Article by CALS Bacteriologist Recognized for Exceptional Impact

A research paper published in the December 8, 2006 edition of Science that was authored by CALS bacteriologist Karen Wassarman was singled out by Faculty of 1000 Biology as an ‘exceptional broad impact paper.’

The paper, titled “Synthesis-Mediated Release of a Small RNA Inhibitor of RNA Polymerase,” describes a previously unknown approach that bacterial cells use to control RNA production.

In the conventional model, RNA production is ‘turned off’ when repressor proteins bind to DNA, blocking RNA Polymerase’s access to a gene. RNA Polymerase is the enzyme that converts genetic information found on DNA into RNA, which is usually used to make proteins. Wassarman’s paper, on the other hand, describes how a non-coding RNA can bind in the active site of RNA Polymerase to diminish RNA production when cells are starving, and how the small RNA is removed when nutrients become available again.

Faculty of 1000 Biology is a new online research service that comprehensively and systematically highlights and reviews the most interesting papers published in the biological sciences, based on the recommendations of a faculty of well over 1000 selected leading researchers.

Faculty of 1000 Biology is run by scientists for scientists, and aims to provide a rapidly updated consensus map of the important papers and trends across biology.