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By Stephen Luntz

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RNA’s Role in Schizophrenia
An enormous global collaboration has published evidence in Nature Genetics for a role for non-coding DNA in schizophrenia.

More than 200 authors, including Australians associated with four universities, found five new areas of the human genome where variations are associated with schizophrenia. One of these is located away from any protein-encoding genes, but in a region associated with microRNA known as MIR137. MicroRNAs bind to messenger RNA to silence genes.

MIR137 is involved in the production of neurons in the adult brain, and sites affected by MIR137 have been associated with schizophrenia. It appears that while variations in the genes themselves can contribute to schizophrenia, unusual forms of MIR137 may also be important by influencing these genes’ expression.

Aussie Kids Are Early Internet Adopters
Australian children are accessing the internet earlier than their European counterparts, and may be the youngest internet starters in the world.

A survey, AU Kids Online, was conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation in parallel with a 25-nation European study.

“This is the first Australian study of its kind where children were directly interviewed on a large scale about their online experience,” says Prof Lelia Green. “It...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.