An MIT biology professor Richard Young has come up with a new theory for how RNA molecules work. It was already well known that RNA molecules transcribe information from DNA but it was unknown how RNA would be able to stop transcribing once the process started. They’ve found that they could focus on transcriptional condensates and figure out that these only form when the transcription process was in order and then they would dissipate. It turns out that RNA is able to self-regulate through a feedback loop.

Key Takeaways:

  • RNA polymerases are proteins that are recruited to certain parts of DNA molecules and they synthesize mRNA molecules as they move.
  • Transcriptional droplets of DNA tended to form when transcription began but they would dissolve within a few seconds of the process being finished.
  • To test out these RNA molecules, a vitro experiment was used to see if RNA had any effect on condensate formation.

“At any given moment in the human body, in about 30 trillion cells, DNA is being “read” into molecules of messenger RNA, the intermediary step between DNA and proteins, in a process called transcription.”

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