DATABASES: Decoding the Noncode

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Science  21 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5708, pp. 329
DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5708.329b

Researchers once paid little attention to RNA that doesn't code for or help manufacture proteins, but they now realize that strands of untranslated RNA perform all kinds of tasks that keep a cell humming. A new database called NONCODE, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, documents more than 5000 noncoding RNA sequences from hundreds of organisms. Curators pull sequences from GenBank and other sources, then annotate them by consulting the literature. Categories include disease and function, such as DNA repair or protein transport. NONCODE debuted this month in the annual database issue of open-access Nucleic Acids Research, which lists 719 databases of note on everything from immune system genes to the silkworm genome.

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