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Archived Comments for: Modeling RNA interference in mammalian cells

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  1. This paper provides proof that the Hill type equation describes the RNA interfence

    Raya Khanin, Bioinformatics Core, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    25 May 2011

    In this paper, the authors performed in vitro experiments in human and hamster cell lines measuring levels of mRNAs and proteins for a large range of concentrations of siRNA oligomers. They demonstrate the the Hill type equation is the most efficient way to model RNA interference. It would have been a nice study had the authors were not carried away by suddenly referring to the Hill model as theirs. They continue by saying that their "model has a simple mathematical form, amenable to analytical investigations and a small set of parameters with an intuitive physical meaning, that makes it a unique and reliable mathematical tool".

    Indeed, the Hill model was introduced by Archibald Hill in 1910, and has since been applied to numerous biological processes, from enzyme reactions to microRNA-mediated gene regulation. In my view, the author's claim in the abstract's conclusion that it is "their" model puts an unnecessary shadow on their own work, warrants questions of mis-representation (hopefully unintentional) and asks for a general debate on model's ownership and how seriously scientific community should consider it.

    Competing interests

    None declared

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