Expanding on a concept originally coined by Walter Gilbert in 1986, Thomas Cech recently described two RNA worlds—a hypothetical, primordial world in which the same molecule combined informational and catalytic properties, and a contemporary world, forged by a spectrum of RNA-centered activities. While during the early days, following the discovery of DNA, RNA was thought to be the less interesting molecule, this view has dramatically changed in recent years.
Advances in RNA biology are reshaping concepts that have been prevailing for a long time. For example, in the field of developmental biology, decisions were traditionally envisioned mostly in terms of the progressive expression of different combinations of transcription factors that are induced by specific combinations and concentrations of growth differentiation factors. (read more…)
- Stein, RA. (2012) RNA Advances Reshape Prevailing Wisdom. Gen Eng News 32(6). [article]