German Science Weekly Highlight-16 | DW-RADIO | DW | 19.02.2005
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German Science Weekly Highlight-16

Getting in the Way of Faulty RNA


You may know already what RNA does. It’s in your body, and simply put, it’s the "messenger" that your DNA uses to tell proteins how to build your cells. If DNA is the architect, and proteins are the construction team, then RNA is like the contractor that mediates between them.

Well, just as a bad contractor can ruin a construction project, faulty RNA can wreak havoc on your body. It can cause cancer, degenerative illnesses, and infections.

That’s where RNA interference technology comes in. It gets in the way of faulty RNA. You can see it in the picture below: the red stuff is a protein called lamin. When we add an RNA inhibitor and a green dye, like in the bottom left, it stops the lamin from building and the lamin turns green.

RNA-Interferenz Mechanismus

But how does this fabulous technology work? Dr. Thomas Meyer of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin can tell you. He’s working with the RIGHT Consortium, a group of European scientists dedicated to making RNA interference technology work. Click on the link below and you’ll know how.

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