RNA Interference in Biotechnology and Pharmacetics Essay

RNA Interference in Biotechnology and Pharmacetics Essay

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Almost all biology students learn the fundamentals of gene expression, DNA contains information which is transcribed into RNA to create protein. Students however, are not taught of RNA Interference, the biological process where RNA molecules inhibit a gene’s expression, RNAi for short. While RNAi is a fairly new discovery, its use in modern biological research is groundbreaking. RNA Interference works by binding Double-stranded RNA molecules (siRNA) to a complementary messenger RNA. The enzymes Dicer and Slicer then cleave the chemical bonds which hold the messeger RNA in place and prevent it from delivering protein silencing instructions thus, the term, Gene Silencing. This phenomenon was first discovered by Richard Jorgensen in 1990 when he was trying to produce deeper purple colored petunias by introducing more purple pigment genes to the flower. To his surprise, the purple petunia turned completely white and got the opposite of his predicted result. At the time Jorgensen coined this effect, “Cosuppression”. It was not until 1998 that Andrew Fire and Craig, C Mello explained the process of RNAi and discovered its use in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. Elegans). In 2006 Fire and Mello won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discover of RNA Interference – gene silencing by double stranded RNA”. They utilized the nematode, C. Elegans due to its whole genome being sequenced. This unique characteristic allows for every gene to be tested
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during RNAi. RNA interference is now applied in many forms of biological science from, Physiology to Biotechnology.
RNA Interference has been successfully applied in many fields of medicines used to treat issues such as, Parkinson’s and Lung Cancer. One study, sponsored by Alnylam Phar...


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...available to help scientists better understand disease, pp. 1-2. Retrieved December 15, 2013
ScienceDaily. (2013, September 13). ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from ScienceDaily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130913090609.htm
Sciences, A. I. (2013, July 16). RNA-Interference Pesticides Will Need Special Safety Testing. Retrieved 12 15, 2013, from ScienceDaily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716080026.htm
Thomas, C. G. (2013, November 25). National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson's disease, pp. 1-2. Retrieved December 13, 2013, from http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2013/ninds-24.htm
Trafton, A. (2013, June 23). MIT News. Enhancing RNA Interference, pp. 1-2. Retrieved 12 16, 2013, from http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/enhancing-rna-interference-0623.html


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