A more detailed talk about this thing I study which is a mechanism that helps control levels of proteins in your cells and the protein at its heart, Argonaute (Ago), whom I heart! Basically, Ago binds to a small RNA – microRNA (miRNA) or siRNA – to form the minimal RNA-Induced Silencing Complex (RISC). Ago uses that small RNA as a guide to find “targets” – messenger RNAs (mRNAs) with regions of complementary sequences. It binds those and (alone or with the help of protein cofactors) causes the mRNA to get degraded, shutting down protein production – but only of that specific protein! Non-permanently because the mRNAs are just copies of the original gene which isn’t messed with. So, ya, Ago is awesome! For text and figures: http://bit.ly/microRNARNAi; for a shorter talk see this past video: http://bit.ly/RNAiintrotalk

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