Thesis Defense Announcement
To:  The George Mason University Community

Candidate: Naga Sridhar Betrapally
Program: Master of Science in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology 

Date:   Thursday August 9, 2012
Time:   12:00 Noon
Place:  George Mason University 
	    Occoquan Bldg., Room 110-A
	    Prince William campus
Thesis Chair: Dr. Donald Seto

Title: "Computational Analysis of Bovine miRNAs Across Different Tissues and Species"
A copy of the thesis is on reserve in the Johnson Center Library, Fairfax campus.  The thesis will not be read at the meeting, but should be read in advance. All members of the George Mason University community are invited to attend.

MicroRNA’s (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules of approximately 22 nucleotides in length. They are present in the genome-encoded stem-loop precursors that recognize target mRNAs by base pairing which then regulate their expression. Due to their influence in expression of hundreds of genes, they play a role in regulation of gene expression for numerous biological processes such as in animal development, apoptosis, fat metabolism and hematopoietic differentiation.  Initial studies showed that most miRNAs are conserved among related species. However, recent studies have shown that newly identified miRNAs tend to be species specific. miRNAs are known to have a differential expression patterns during development and across tissues but there is not much known about the relative abundance and specificity of expression patterns among tissues for most bovine miRNAs. Profiling of bovine miRNAs and evaluation of their expression patterns was carried out in this study for a total of 64 different tissues from calf and fetus of bovine. Interpreting the expression patterns of different miRNAs among different tissues and organ systems will help in understanding the role of miRNAs in gene expression.