Drug addiction is a pervasive problem in society, as it produces major increases in health care costs, crime, and loss of productivity. With over 3 million long-term users in America alone, cocaine is one of the most identifiable and addictive drugs. Cocaine produces major neurological changes in the central nervous system, including widespread changes in gene expression. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding transcripts that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by preventing translation into function protein.
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