Genomics: RNAi Adapted For Mammals | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 51 | p. 19
Issue Date: December 19, 2011

Cover Stories: Chemical Year In Review 2011

Genomics: RNAi Adapted For Mammals

Biotech companies are now actively using RNA interference to develop drugs for viral infections, cancer, and other diseases
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: RNA interference, RNAi, gene silencing, small interfering RNA

In 2001, the then-nascent field of RNA interference took a leap forward when scientists showed that the gene-silencing method worked in human cells, not just in lower organisms.

In RNAi, short pieces of double-stranded RNA guide complementary strands of messenger RNA to a protein complex known as RISC, the RNA-induced silencing complex. RISC cleaves the mRNA, preventing its translation into protein.

In earlier work, scientists had shown that gene-length strands of RNA shut down all . . .

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