RNA regulation: a new genetics?
Do non-coding RNAs that are derived from the introns and exons of protein-coding and non-protein-coding genes represent a fundamental advance in the genetic operating system of higher organisms? Recent evidence from comparative genomics and molecular genetics indicates that this might be the case. If so, there will be profound consequences for our understanding of the genetics of these organisms, and in particular how the trajectories of differentiation and development and the differences among individuals and species are genomically programmed. But how might this hypothesis be tested?