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Rna Interference Essay

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RNA Interference on Antiviral Therapy

There are always new discoveries being found in the science of biology, and one of the most important and valuable findings known to the human civilization is the discovery of RNA Interference. Called RNAi in short form, RNA interference is a natural genetic mechanism. (Anissimov) It is the process that cells go through to reject harmful and foreign genetic material that could potentially damage the cell, by silencing or suppressing the certain genes on an organism’s genome; making it inactive. (National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 2011) Today, RNA interference is used as a tool in biotechnology research, but one of its biggest applications is to antiviral therapy.

When a virus attacks a host cell, viral RNA is injected into the cell’s interiors, allowing the viral RNA to fuse with the host cell’s regular DNA. This makes the host reproduce copies of the virus, which eventually burst out from the cell and spread to other cells to infect them as well. Like said previously before, RNA interference will use its supressing trait to stop the reproduction of viruses from happening. This task is achieved through by the disablement of the molecular messengers that carry coded genetic information to the cell’s protein-makers called mRNAs (messenger RNA). mRNAs are very important to the protein-building of a cell, for without them, the protein complexes would have no idea on how to build the proteins for a certain gene and make it active, since there are no instructions to do so. (National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 2011) The RNA interference officially begins when viral RNA is first injected into a cell. RNA exists temporarily in a double stranded form, called dsRNA for short. The double-stranded structure is identified by the cell and a trigger to start RNAi is set off. The strands of RNA are then cut into smaller fragments by an enzyme called Dicer. The smaller fragments are called siRNAS...

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