There webcast link is particulary useful. Included is a presentation by one of our collaborators: Dr. Mark Behlke. Here's the abstract:
Dicer-substrate siRNAs (DsiRNAs) are synthetic oligonucleotides that are processed by Dicer prior to RISC loading. DsiRNAs often show improved potency over traditional siRNAs in vitro and can have similar benefits in vivo. In collaboration with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, systematic high throughput screening of DsiRNAs is in progress to identify ultra-potent sites in pharmaceutically relevant target genes. The results of a KRAS screening project will be discussed where over 400 synthetic siRNAs were tested in human and mouse cells. Chemical modification patterns have been defined that improve nuclease stability of the DsiRNA while retaining high potency and evade detection by the innate immune system. These improvements to DsiRNA design will be presented, which have particular utility for in vivo applications. In addition to work in RNAi, results will be presented relating to a new gene-knockdown technology that uses synthetic adaptor oligonucleotides to recruit the nuclear U1 snRNP complex to cleave nascent mRNAs prior to polyadenylation. RNAi and U1 adaptors work by different mechanisms at distinct sub-cellular locations and can be used together to improve knockdown of difficult targets.