RNA flow between organisms has been documented within and among different kingdoms of life. To date, known functions of such transmissible RNA have been limited to host-parasite interactions where the RNA negatively affects the recipient organism. Nevertheless, the question why any organism would uptake regulatory RNA from the environment has remained unanswered.
Honeybees are eusocial insects, living in a colony that is often described as a superorganism. RNA mobility among cells of an organism has been shown in animals and plants. We recently discovered that RNA spreads further in honeybees, and is horizontally transferred between individuals and across generations. Yet, the underlying mechanisms and roles of RNA communication between honeybees are poorly understood.
A postdoctoral Research Associate position is available to adjust a cutting edge method towards the tracking of natural RNA transmission. Such a system will enable study of the mechanisms and roles of transmissible RNA including social-immunity and genome regulation with impacts on physiology and fitness of recipient bees. This research will provide knowledge and tools that will enable studying the biology of RNA flow in other organisms, including humans, in diverse biological aspects; hence, will ultimately contribute to the development of RNA-based applications to promote health and disease control.
The position is funded for five years by an award from the Wellcome and Royal Society to Eyal Maori. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. degree in RNA- or molecular biology related subject. Experience with nucleic acid biochemistry and molecular RNA analyses is highly desirable. A good background in non-coding RNA biology, epigenetics and NGS analyses would be advantageous, but not required.
Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.
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