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1546-2080 Online :: 1546-203X Print
RNA Interference: Powerful Gene Discovery Tool and Therapeutic Agent
Volume 3, Issue 2


Authors:
Irwin H. Gelman, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Abstract:
RNA interference (“RNAi”) is a method to suppress the expression of specific genes. What started less than a decade ago as an interesting observation in plants and fungi relating to the silencing of genes in response to virus infection quickly was shown to be a universal set of mechanisms shared by plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates for turning off specific genes. A flurry of discoveries in the past five years alone have elevated the field of RNAi from molecular novelty to one of significant therapeutic promise against human diseases such as cancer, macular degeneration, obesity, diabetes, neurological disorders, and virus-induced syndromes. In this article, Dr. Irwin H. Gelman discusses the basic science behind RNAi, how RNAi can be harnessed to discover new disease-related genes, RNAi’s potential in treating human diseases, and how nanomaterials can be used to unleash the potential of RNAi.

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