RNAi: Slicing, dicing and serving your cells - Alex Dainis
RNA, the genetic messenger, makes sure the DNA recipe gives your cells exactly what they ordered. But sometimes that means inhibiting some other RNA that got the recipe wrong. This process is called RNA interference (RNAi), and it acts as a self-correcting system within the complicated genetic kitchen of your body. Alex Dainis explains the importance -- and exciting potential -- of RNAi.
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RNAi has been discovered in multiple organisms. In fact, the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Andrew Fire and Craig Mello for their discovery of RNAi in C. elegans. Read more about it.
Want a basic rundown of RNAi facts? The NIH has a great primer.
Or for a more in-depth look, check out Stanford’s history of RNAi.
RNAi is of course different than DNA. Learn more about DNA here:
Your body is made of cells -- but how does a single cell know to become part of your nose, instead of your toes? The answer is in your body's instruction book: DNA. Joe Hanson compares DNA to detailed manual for building a person out of cells -- with 46 chapters (chromosomes) and hundreds of thousands of pages covering every part of you.
What do a man, a mushroom, and an elephant have in common? A very long and simple double helix molecule makes us more similar and much more different than any other living thing. But how does a simple molecule determine the form and function of so many different living things?
Nobel laureate James Watson opens TED2005 with the frank and funny story of how he and his research partner, Francis Crick, discovered the structure of DNA.