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a large number of RNA molecules change levels when a bird is listening to a song.

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  • Marc Verhaegen
    First songbird genome arrives with spring The genome of a songbird has been decoded for the first time. Zebra finches join chickens as the only birds to
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2010
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      First songbird genome arrives with spring
      The genome of a songbird has been decoded for the first time. Zebra finches
      join chickens as the only birds to have detailed maps of their genetic
      blueprints.
      http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57818/title/First_songbird_genome
      _arrives_with__spring

      ...
      Analyses of gene activity in zebra finches' brains showed that the activity
      of more than 800 genes changes when the birds sing. The finding supports a
      previous study by Clayton's group, which showed that a large number of RNA
      molecules change levels when a bird is listening to a song.
      The new genome sequence revealed that many of those RNAs are regulatory
      molecules known as non-coding RNAs. Levels of one of those molecules, a tiny
      snippet of RNA known as microRNA-124, drop rapidly when a bird hears a new
      song, the researchers report. MicroRNAs are known to regulate production of
      proteins and have been suggested to be important for brain function, but
      this is the first time a microRNA has been shown to respond to a particular
      thought process, Clayton says.
      ...



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