Our body relies on the coordination of thousands of molecules to regulate virtually all biological functions, with microRNAs emerging as a ‘master controller’. MicroRNAs are short RNAs which do not become proteins, but instead act as genetic ‘on-off’ switches capable of quickly reorganizing metabolic systems.

During this online Science Café, Hanane Hadj-Moussa, a Biology PhD Candidate in Dr. Ken Storey’s lab at Carleton University, will share her recent research on animals that drop their metabolism to survive extreme environments (such as hibernating lemurs and frogs that freeze solid). The Storey Lab has identified microRNAs as key tools to both facilitate reductions in energy usage and activate defenses needed for basic survival, and that many of the same microRNAs are altered in human cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and stroke.

Watch now to discover insights Hadj-Moussa is learning from nature, and how this information can be used to explore the possibility of using RNA-based interventions to treat diseases, as well as solve other problems (think turning off human donor-organs to help preserve them during organ transplants, or maybe even inducing suspended animation to help astronauts on long space flights!).

About the Science Café

Explore science through Carleton University’s popular Science Cafés, now being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope to resume our in-person Science Cafés in the future, generally held twice a month during the fall and winter terms at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. For now, you are invited to join us online for a lively discussion around a scientific issue of the day. Be prepared to be informed, engaged and even amused, as our professors share their scientific discoveries with you. All are welcome to join us via Zoom Webinar.

Visit the Science Café website for more information on upcoming online Science Cafés and to sign up for our newsletter, or contact the Faculty of Science by email at odscience@carleton.ca and by telephone at 613-520-4388.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in , , , ,
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