DNA may be the main building blocks of the body, but researches are starting to discover that RNA, which transports genetic information within a specific cell, could hold greater potential in understanding a wide range of diseases and developing novel therapeutics.
This recently posted National Institutes of Health video offers a great primer explaining how some RNA, known as extracellular RNAs (exRNA), can travel through bodily fluids and alter cells at a distance. The NIH Common Fund's Extracellular RNA Communication program is currently investigating how exRNAs control cell behavior. By doing so, researchers hope to develop methods for detecting disease earlier and to create new treatment options, such as harnessing exRNAs' communication power to turn a diseased cell into a healthy one.
Previously: Slicing and dicing small RNA molecules can better combat viruses, enhance gene therapies, say Stanford researchers and The RNA insurrection: Genes’ “humble servant” rules from behind the scenes