This tutorial describes how RNA interference was discovered, how it works, and potential applications to treating disease.
Scientists first described the process of RNA interference (RNAi), the silencing of gene expression by short double-stranded RNA molecules, in plants and worms. The process was then shown to occur in many animals. In this Click & Learn, students learn how the process works in cells and how scientists could use it to silence genes involved in disease.
The accompanying worksheet guides students’ exploration.
Student Learning Targets
Explain how RNA interference can be used to regulate gene expression.
ATP, Caenorhabditis elegans, Dicer, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), laboratory technique, messenger RNA (mRNA), petunia, RNAi, RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), small interfering RNA (siRNA)
HS-LS1-1, HS-LS3-1, HS-LS4-4; SEP6
3.A.1, 3.B.2; SP6