Origin of RNA
Words nearby RNA
What is RNA?
DNA is a macromolecule that allows cells to function and carries the genetic code that determines the traits of a living organism. Among other things, RNA works with DNA to make proteins, which are required for many essential functions within living things. During this process, RNA acts as a kind of copy of the DNA that carries its genetic information outside of the cell nucleus.
RNA also carries the genetic information of many viruses.
RNA consists of one long strand of sugars and phosphates and the nitrogen bases, which form base pairs. The result resembles a ladder with just one side. By comparison, DNA has two long strands of sugars and phosphates, with the base pairs between them, making it look like a spiraled ladder (a double helix). RNA has three of the same nitrogen bases found in DNA—adenine (A), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). Instead of thymine (T), though, RNA has uracil (U).
DNA contains the instructions that cells need to make proteins. An enzyme in the cell nucleus, known as RNA polymerase, unspirals the DNA and breaks the ladder in half down the middle. The enzyme then reads the nitrogen bases (the rungs of the ladder) and makes RNA in a process known as transcription. The RNA sequence matches the sequence from the DNA strand except that in RNA, adenine is paired with uracil instead of thymine, and the sugar deoxyribose is substituted with ribose.
There are three major kinds of RNA. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is created from a DNA template in the nucleus and then carries the genetic code to structures called ribosomes in the cytoplasm (the middle layer of the cell between the nucleus and the membrane), where it specifies the amino acid sequence for protein synthesis. Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is a part of ribosomes that allows messenger RNA to function. Transfer RNA (tRNA) transports specific amino acids to ribosomes during protein synthesis.
Why is RNA important?
DNA and RNA are ancient, but their discovery was relatively recent. In 1869, chemist Friedrich Miescher documented a kind of molecule that had never been studied before—nucleic acid. It wasn’t until around the 1930s that the term DNA began to be used, with RNA following in the 1940s. In the 1950s, the work of biophysicist Rosalind Franklin and biologists James Watson and Francis Crick revealed DNA’s double helix structure. The function of RNA began to be further understood during the 1950s and 60s as scientists began to understand the role of messenger RNA.
This understanding is still developing. Until quite recently, RNA’s role was thought to be largely limited to assisting with protein synthesis in its forms as messenger RNA, transfer RNA, and ribosomal RNA. However, scientists are continuing to discover new types of RNA and more functions that RNA performs in the body. For example, recent discoveries suggest that there are several types of RNA that regulate how many proteins the ribosomes produce.
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What are real-life examples of RNA?
Unlike DNA, which takes the form of a double helix, RNA consists of a single strand, as pictured in this illustration.
Most biology students learn about RNA alongside DNA. Our understanding of the role of RNA within the cell is still expanding.
A new single cell #RNA and BCR sequencing study of human tonsils improves our understanding of B cell maturation, providing an expansive resource for researchers to study B cell responses during #health and disease.
— Science Magazine (@ScienceMagazine) February 20, 2021
The messenger RNA technology that developed successful covid-19 vaccines could transform medicine. Next up: sickle cell, HIV, and malaria. https://t.co/xWbyr9cplh
— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) February 20, 2021
What other words are related to RNA?
True or False?
One of RNA’s main functions is using the information from DNA in the creation of proteins.
How to use RNA in a sentence
With enough changing of the influenza RNA over time, the vaccine no longer provokes the “right” immune response.
So too with a vaccine that provokes a specific immune response aimed at a specific RNA sequence.
These drugs interfere with the double helix zip-unzip-zip-again process of RNA and DNA replication.
Here, the blockage of RNA prevents extra amyloid from being produced by targeting its precursor protein and making less of it.
Its molecules bind to messenger RNA, allowing certain genes to be “turned off.”
Where protein synthesis is intense, the content in RNA is high.
Thus, the spinning glands of silkworms are extraordinarily rich in RNA.
British Dictionary definitions for RNA
Medical definitions for RNA
Scientific definitions for RNA
Cultural definitions for RNA
One of a group of molecules similar in structure to a single strand of DNA. The function of RNA is to carry the information from DNA in the cell's nucleus into the body of the cell, to use the genetic code to assemble proteins, and to comprise part of the ribosomes that serve as the platform on which protein synthesis takes place.