Animation and slideshow : RNA interface

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Our knowledge of RNA interference — popularly known as RNAi — has expanded dramatically in the short time since its discovery. Several types of small silencing RNAs have now been discovered, including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs).


Small RNAs are involved in regulating gene expression in many ways, and RNAi is being harnessed by scientists for laboratory research and for the development of new therapies for disease.

This animation introduces the principles of RNAi involving siRNAs and miRNAs. We take you on an audio-visual journey through the steps of gene expression and give an up-to-date view of how RNAi can silence specific mRNAs in the cytoplasm.

Extra information about RNAi is provided in an accompanying slideshow.

View the FREE animation and slideshow


continue to source article at nature.com

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  1. I really enjoy animation that zooms into our microbiology and shows us what we are unable to see with our own eye. Consider the multitude of processes going on all around our body and brain simultaneously and it becomes clear (when we very slowly zoom out) that the simplest act (of picking up a pencil, moving, healing a buise…) is a highly orchestrated achievement. Phenomenal.

  2. The detail in the animation is staggering. My favorite is the kinesin trudging along the microtubules, towing organelles behind. The nuclear pores are also cool, the detail of the long finger like projections that wave subtly as the mRNA leaves the nucleus is a welcome addition to my brain’s construction of the inner workings of a cell. Also notice how the different enzymes flex their active sites when engaged with the substrate (in this case the short RNA)….

    One last coolness: the feeling that these chemicals are bouncing and colliding…. just like the real thing!! Productive collisions is the name of the game!

    • In reply to #3 by crookedshoes:

      The detail in the animation is staggering. My favorite is the kinesin trudging along the microtubules, towing organelles behind. The nuclear pores are also cool, the detail of the long finger like projections that wave subtly as the mRNA leaves the nucleus is a welcome addition to my brain’s const…

      Always forget. Which motor protein, kinesin or dynein marches in which direction. Plus or minus end of tubule????? That is why I like myosin, no directions to remember!!

      • Dynein trudges in the minus direction—- towards the nucleus in retrograde movement. Meanwhile the kinesin moves outward in the positive end direction. Magnificent! Once again it is clearly shown that “the garden is beautiful without having to invent fairies at the bottom” and studying what is actually demonstrably going on inside a cell (or organelle or atom or organism or population or or or ) trumps the banal study of pretend.

        In reply to #6 by Neodarwinian:

        In reply to #3 by crookedshoes:

        The detail in the animation is staggering. My favorite is the kinesin trudging along the microtubules, towing organelles behind. The nuclear pores are also cool, the detail of the long finger like projections that wave subtly as the mRNA leaves the nucleus is a wel…

  3. One of the projected uses of RNA-I is pesticides that target and turn off a specific gene. In other words, they target a specific species in a way that would be hard for the target to evolve resistance to.

    Unfortunately, one of my least favourite corporations, Monsanto is heavily investing in this research that may pay off in about ten years.

    Monsanto has been using GMO technology to get plants to generate their own pesticides, such as BT. The catch is the bugs are becoming rapidly resistant, just as with traditional pesticides. They desperately need a replacement.

    The animation is mind boggling. It so complicated. It is so strange all these little beinglets busily about their mysterious business.

  4. Despite the fact that the behaviour of some of the more ‘blobby’ structures seems suspiciously sexual, it’s a good idealised representation of a very complex set of orchestrated processes. Every time I see this sort of thing represented, it serves to confirm the absence of chance in living organisms totally.

  5. This is just amazing. I don’t know anything about biology but I found this video fascinating. This is definitely the way to go to help non-scientific people understand how these things work. Also, these videos can be a powerful tool to stimulate young people’s interest in science.

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