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The study of the complete set of messenger RNA transcribed from the genome (the transcriptome) in particular cells or tissues.

Use in clinical context

The genome provides the instructions for protein production and RNA-based molecules such as micro RNA and transfer RNA. This information is held in genes in DNA within the nucleus.

To get the relevant sections of code out of the nucleus to where it is required (for example, to the ribosomes, where proteins are produced), DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA.

Not all genes are transcribed all the time, however. By studying the messenger RNA of the transcriptome, it is possible to gain an insight into which genes are actively being transcribed, which reflects how the cells and tissues are functioning.

Last updated on 15th December, 2021