Ideas lab

Dark Dimensions of the RNA Regulome (D2R2) – An Ideas Lab Activity (22-510)

NSF announces their support of a new Ideas Lab (NSF-22-510) to bring together interdisciplinary groups of investigators to explore new solutions to elucidate the function of parts of the genome.

Ideas Labs are intensive, facilitated workshops to find innovative solutions to grand challenge problems. The grand challenge problem here: can we make sense of biological dark matter? Specifically, what is the evolutionary and functional significance of non-coding RNA transcripts?

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Large parts of eukaryotic genomes, so-called “dark” regions, are transcribed into RNAs that do not encode proteins. We know very little about this part of the genome even though there are signatures of evolutionary conservation, unusual structural features, and/or non-random expression patterns that are suggestive of functional roles.

This Ideas Lab will bring together a diverse set of researchers from multiple disciplines during a 5-day in-person retreat to stimulate generation and execution of innovative research proposals that will advance our understanding of the origin, diversity, and functions of non-coding RNAs. A wealth of new biology awaits discovery, aided by innovations from other disciplines, as participants make progress on deciphering how the dark dimensions of the RNA regulome help shape and regulate the form and function of life on Earth.

The D2R2 Ideas lab will take place from June 13-17, 2022. It will be an in-person event at a location to be determined in Northern Virginia.

A two-page pre-proposal is required for all participants, due by January 31, 2022. Full details are available in the solicitation.