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MicroRNA-encoded behavior in Drosophila

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Science  13 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6262, pp. 815-820
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0217

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MicroRNAs that control behavior

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene activity. They repress expression through complementary base pairing interactions with target messenger RNAs. MiRNAs are involved in regulating many cell and developmental processes. Picao-Osorio et al. find that miRNAs can also control behavior in the fruit fly Drosophila. A specific miRNA locus regulates the self-righting response in larva that ate tipped over onto their backs. The miRNA locus targets a gene required for the normal activity of two neurons involved in the self-righting response.

Science, this issue p. 815