RNAs Can Now Be Genetically Programmed to Fight Diseases


A new research study led by Professor Alfonso Jaramillo of School of Life Sciences, has discovered that, ribonucleic acid (RNA) – a common molecule, which is generated at an ample amount in human body, animals, and plants – can be engineered genetically to permit the scientists to program the cell actions. With this technique, scientists can engineer these cells to fight injury and diseases in human body.

Along with that, researchers could also harness this technique to reverse agricultural and environmental issues and can also control plant cells making them more buoyant against pests and diseases.

RNAs transfer information between DNA in cells and protein, and Professor Jaramillo has shown that these molecules can be generated and organized into suitable sequences of instructions just like the codes or algorithms for a computer software. These cells can be fed with specific instructions and can be programmed in to doing what the researchers want them to behave.

Professor Jaramillo argues that, this technique is almost similar to the classic computer system designed by Turing. It allows these cells to have the ability to respond as well as process to the codes and instructions given to their main system.

He also argues that just like the software functioning on a computer, or the way apps run on mobile devices, numerous different RNA sequences could be generated to make these cells work like a ‘Virtual Machine’. It will allow them to make sense of the standard RNA language and to perform certain actions to address several problem or diseases.

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