I’m a little a month away from defending my PhD thesis and I still struggle with explaining what I study (RNAi (RNA interference)) to a general audience (especially because “general audience” can mean so many different things…). So I’ve been playing around with different approaches and here’s my latest very very rough draft… Thought I’d share in case people have thoughts or suggestions (other than making it less casual  which I already know I need to do…) and just so people could get a sense behind the scenes of what my current struggles are…

RNAi (RNA interference) is a mechanism I study that helps control levels of proteins in your cells. I study 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! More about it here: blog: https://bit.ly/awesomeAgo ; video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xrEDCPI5NAc 

For much better text and figures: http://bit.ly/microRNARNAi; for a better talk see this past video: http://bit.ly/RNAiintrotalk

more about all sorts of things:  #365DaysOfScience All (with topics listed) 👉 http://bit.ly/2OllAB0 or search blog: https://thebumblingbiochemist.com      

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