DNA is the code of life, and so advances that allow us to edit that code have unlocked vast potential, from simply editing away the buggy code of disease, to engineering animals that don't spread illness, to, maybe one day in a distant future, creating so-called designer babies. But editing another essential molecular component of our biology - RNA, the messenger used by cells to turns DNA instructions into proteins - also holds great promise.
Tagged With RNA
Your poop is a living forest. Seriously! Hundreds of species of microbes thrive inside of you, helping you to live your best life. Everyone's microbiome differs - yours from your neighbours', and different populations' from one another's. But there is much scientists still don't know about the human microbiome. And one team of scientists think they have made a leap in helping us understand this forest.
If you've taken a science class, you're likely aware that DNA is the body's instruction manual. But its language is only written in four letters: A, T, C and G. Those who paid extra close attention will remember that RNA, the photocopy of the instructions that the cell actually uses, replaces the Ts with the letter U.
Every year we go through the same motions: Scientists figure out what the most common flu strains will be, and prepare a vaccine that will best protect against it. Those who get vaccinated avoid the new strains, those who don't might get sick. But every so often, a new kind of flu pops up that doctors are unprepared to vaccinate against. That kind of flu can turn into a pandemic.