2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Posted on October 8, 2006  Comments (2)

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2006 goes to: Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello for their discovery of
RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.

This mechanism, RNA interference, is activated when RNA molecules occur as double-stranded pairs in the cell. Double-stranded RNA activates biochemical machinery which degrades those mRNA molecules that carry a genetic code identical to that of the double-stranded RNA. When such mRNA molecules disappear, the corresponding gene is silenced and no protein of the encoded type is made.

RNA interference occurs in plants, animals, and humans. It is of great importance for the regulation of gene expression, participates in defense against viral infections, and keeps jumping genes under control. RNA interference is already being widely used in basic science as a method to study the function of genes and it may lead to novel therapies in the future.

The Nobel Prize site also includes does a great job by including advanced information on this work.

Related: 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry2006 Nobel Prize in Physics20 Scientists Who Have Helped Shape Our WorldScience Education in the 21st Century

2 Responses to “2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine”

  1. Curious Cat Science Blog » 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    October 5th, 2009 @ 8:06 am

    This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have solved a major problem in biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation…

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » RNA interference webcast
    May 30th, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    […] The Inner Life of a Cell, Animation – 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – Scientists discover new class of RNA – science webcast posts by curiouscat […]

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