Let’s begin with the basics. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule you may already be familiar with; it contains our genetic code, the blueprint of life. This essential molecule is the foundation for the “central dogma of biology”, or the sequence of events necessary for life khổng lồ function. DNA is a long, double-stranded molecule made up of bases, located in the cell’s nucleus. The order of these bases determines the genetic blueprint, similar to the way the order of letters in the alphabet are used to lớn size words. DNA’s ‘words’ are three letters (or bases) long, and these words specifically code for genes, which in the language of the cell, is the blueprint for proteins to lớn be manufactured.

To ‘read’ these blueprints, the double-helical DNA is unzipped to lớn expose the individual strands & an enzyme translates them inlớn a di động, intermediate message, called ribonucleic acid (RNA). This intermediate message is called messenger RNA (mRNA), & it carries the instructions for making proteins. The mRNA is then transported outside of the nucleus, to lớn the molecular machine responsible for manufacturing proteins, the ribosome. Here, the ribosome translates the mRNAusing another three-letter word; every three base pairs designates a specific building bloông xã called an amino acid (of which there are 20) lớn create a polypeptide chain that will eventually become a protein. The ribosome assembles a protein in three steps – during initiation, the first step, transfer RNA (tRNA) brings the specific amino acid designated by the three-letter code khổng lồ the ribosome. In the second step, elongation, each amino acid is sequentially connected by peptide bonds, forming a polypeptide chain. The order each amino acid is crucial lớn the functionality of the future protein; errors in adding an amino acid can result in disease.Finally, during termination, the completed polypeptide chain is released from the ribosome and is folded inkhổng lồ its final protein state.Proteins are required for the structure, function, & regulation of the body"s tissues và organs; their functionality is seemingly endless.

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, we believed that RNA’s primary role was lớn intermediate between DNA và protein, as we described above sầu. Over the last threedecades, those long-held beliefs have sầu been shattered. We have sầu witnessed amazing discoveries with regards to RNA biology, many of which have sầu come from our own labs here at the RTI. In 1998, Andrew Fire & the RTI’s Craig Mello discovered RNA interference (RNAi), in which double-stranded RNA can find và turn off specific genes based on certain sequences (order of the "words"). For this, they earned the Nobel Prize in 2006! To understvà more about RNAi & learn how we are developing this tool inlớn a therapeutic platkhung, please see: What is RNAi?

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