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Gene expression varies between individuals and species, and this variation is largely responsible for phenotypic diversity and disease. Research in the McManus lab focuses on understanding the genetic causes of variation in gene expression. Gene expression involves transcription of DNA into mRNA, alternative splicing of mRNA, translation of mRNA into proteins, and regulation of mRNA and protein levels through turnover pathways. Differences in the regulatory networks controlling these processes lead to gene expression variation. Our lab uses high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics to compare regulation of alternative splicing and mRNA translation in closely related species of fruit flies and yeast. We also use these tools to investigate the structure of large RNAs genome wide. RNA structures play important roles in gene expression, yet very little is known about the structures of most large RNAs.

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