The go-between: Life’s unexpected messenger – life – 15 September 2014 – New Scientist

The go-between: Life’s unexpected
messenger Overview connecting many flavors of #RNA – ie RNAi, siRNA, miRNA & @exRNA

Some bits unclear though – in relation to boundaries betw. siRNA & exRNA


The RNA in cells is far more mobile than we thought (Image: Renaud Vigourt)

Far from staying put, RNA – the less famous cousin of DNA – can roam far afield, carrying information to other cells in the body and even to other animals

UNDER the soil of the cornfield, the rootworm larvae emerge from their eggs and crawl in search of roots to munch on. But their mother chose the wrong field to lay her eggs in. There’s something special about the maize here – it’s armed with a smart weapon designed to target the rootworms.

As the larvae feed, this weapon is released from the plant and enters their gut cells. There it halts production of a vital protein by blocking one specific gene. In the hours that follow, this “gene silencing” weapon spreads to other cells in the larvae’s bodies. At first there is no …


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