New techniques for preserving RNA reported

Dr. Rowan Milner, a professor of oncology in the college’s department of small animal clinical sciences and director of clinical and translational research, recently coauthored a paper in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology.

The publication, titled “Analysis of canine myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) utilizing fluorescence-activated cell sorting, RNA protection mediums to yield quality RNA for single-cell RNA sequencing” appeared online in the journal on Nov. 7.

“The short-lived RNA molecule translates the DNA message into essential proteins in the cell,” Milner said. “RNA from bone marrow-derived suppressor cells is very sensitive to handling and decays rapidly while being sorted in the laboratory.”

These cells are important because they are recruited by cancers to suppresses the natural immune reaction to cancers, Milner added.

“We developed techniques which preserve the RNA so that we can use single-cell RNA sequencing with artificial intelligence to identify rare populations and possibly new markers,” he said.

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