While most of you may already be aware of it, we could not miss the chance to advertise one of our biggest achievements as a COST action so far: our COST-sponsored book “Antisense RNA Design, Delivery, and Analysis” has just been launched, as part of the Springer Protocols series on “Methods in Molecular Biology”, the world’s largest collection of protocols of biomedical and life sciences.

Edited by our DARTER Cost action chair, Virginia Arechavala-Gomeza (Biocruces Health Research Institute) and our WG2 leader, Alex Garanto (Radboud University), this book is a joint effort by numerous experts in the RNA field, who kindly agreed to share their expertise, by authoring a diverse range of step-by-step laboratory methods and protocols. Each protocol opens with an introductory overview, a list of the materials and reagents needed to complete the experiment, and is followed by a detailed procedure supported by a helpful notes section offering tips and tricks of the trade as well as troubleshooting advice.

You can check the entire chapter list here. But if you want to get a sense on the whole book and all the hot topics it covers, you may as well follow us on this brief synopsis:


Regardless of whether you are new to the field, or have been developing your research on antisense technologies for a while, we are quite sure the two chapters included in this section will provide you, not only a nice historical overview of the field, but also an updated sense of its current state. So, be sure not to miss them.

Design and Formulation of Antisense Technology

This is the first of the technical sections, and it deals with the primary difficulty we all face when entering the field: how to design the best possible molecule for our individual purposes, and how to make sure it will be efficient – or at least hold potential to work properly. Here you will find a number of antisense RNA tools and the best tips to design them. From the design of bifunctional antisense oligonucleotides to U1 snRNA molecules passing through SINEUP, we’ve got it all covered.

In Vitro Model Systems

Right after reviewing the design and formulation issues, the subsequent chapters place the focus on the in vitro analysis. And again, we have it all, from the models themselves to the delivery methods and the indispensable downstream protocols, to check the therapeutic efficacy of each molecule.

In Vivo Model Systems

But that’s not all, as you may imagine: we go further, to the in vivo assessment of antisense technologies. And we go all along from the so desired humanized mouse models to zebrafish. We also give special attention to a few target organs of our preference: from brain to retina.

Safety and Toxicology

And while the previous chapters will likely help you to design and test lead to candidates drugs of high potency, here we will show you how to keep the safety aspects in sight and screen for potential toxicity in early phases of preclinical development. Our goal is to provide guidelines and recommendations for assessing toxicity in early stages of preclinical research to avoid subsequent failure before it can reach the clinic.

Intellectual Property

Finally, there is yet one last section, with a single key chapter on intellectual property. Here we provide key information on patents and the patent system to assist someone embarking on the design, development, and commercialization of new antisense drugs.

So, as you could certainly appreciate from this sneak peek, the “Antisense RNA Design, Delivery, and Analysis” book is divided in six major sections, organized in quite a self-explanatory way and we are sure you will find in it the answers to several technical questions you have been dealing with lately.
Again, every single chapter is available as an open access resource. You can either download the individual chapters or the whole book, it’s up to you. So, please make use of it.

And join us in our efforts to share this useful resource with the whole Antisense RNA community. We are absolutely sure this will be a valuable addition both to everyone’s laboratory and personal book collection.