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Tian Hong’s Lab Publishes in Nucleic Acids Research

Tian Hong’s research group recently published an article, Nonmodular oscillator and switch based on RNA decay drive regeneration of multimodal gene expression, in Nucleic Acids Research. Using mathematical models, the team found that common reaction networks of RNAs can generate sustained oscillation without explicit feedback loops. The network structure is directly applicable to nearly half of protein coding genes in humans. The RNA-based oscillation has diverging periods, which can be a powerful mechanism for progenitor cells to robustly regenerate multimodal gene expression on timescale of days. The team also proved that an oscillator and a bistable switch can co-exist in a simple RNA regulatory network without structural modularity. This result challenges a long-standing dogma in systems biology. GST student Ben Nordick is the first author of the paper.