Return to the RNAi World: Rethinking Gene Expression and...

Return to the RNAi World: Rethinking Gene Expression and...

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Google Tech Talks
April 9, 2007

ABSTRACT

While investigating the genetic workings of the microscopic worm, C. elegans, Mello and colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, discovered RNAi, a natural but previously unrecognized process by which a certain form of RNA can be manipulated to silence—or interfere with—the expression of a selected gene. The discovery, published in the journal Nature in 1998, has had two extraordinary impacts on biological science. One is as a research tool: RNAi is now the state-of-the-art method by which scientists can knock out the expression of specific genes in cells, to thus define the biological functions of those genes. But just as...