Rosetta Genomics – Mining Gold Out of Junk (Part I)


Rosetta Genomics (ROSG) represents one of the most exciting revolutions in biology in recent decades. The company is a pioneer in the field of microRNAs (miRNAs), a group of recently discovered genes that may serve as a novel class of diagnostic markers and drug targets. Unlike “traditional” genes we were familiar with, miRNA genes are not expressed as proteins, but as small RNA fragments that regulate the expression of many proteins. Rosetta Genomics’ impressive pipeline, unparalleled discovery capabilities and intellectual property make it one of the most exciting biotech companies out there.

The field of miRNA have captured the scientific community’s attention only in recent years, and is expected to become an important field in the drug development industry. The ultimate proof for how hot miRNAs are is the increase in the number of published scientific articles that focus on this new gene family. Using the Pubmed database, I looked for articles that contain the term “miRNA” in their title or abstract. There were only 38 such articles in 2003 but the number increased more than fourteen-fold in 2007. Even more striking is the diverse list of medical areas in which miRNAs are investigated, from oncology to cardiovascular diseases, from tissue engineering to women’s health.

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