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Long non-coding RNAs have become the focus of considerable interest over the past few years. Intriguing novel functions have been reported for lincRNAs. Three recent papers identify lincRNAs that work in a more conventional way—encoding protein—in each case a small polypeptide with an interesting biological activity (Magny et al, 2013; Pauli et al, 2014), (Bazzini et al, 2014).