The amazing travels of small RNAs

RNA interference and gene silencing inside a cell nucleus: An enzyme complex that has loaded a siRNA silences a gene transcript so that no proteins can be produced. (Illustration: Science Photo Library / keystone)

Biologists have known for some time that RNA interference can silence genes in far-​off cells. They suspected that a messenger substance “transmits” RNA interference. Now, ETH researchers have definitively shown that these messengers in plants are short double-​stranded RNA fragments.


Helen Stauffer