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Breakdown: Science's Smaller Questions: RNA pushing the limits: Challenging Central Dogma. Most people I talk to haven’t taken a biology class since high school – but try to reach back into the shadowy depths of your inner-high school student and remember the “Central Dogma” of molecular biology - this dogma is what biology is built on, this is geneticist’s and molecular biologist’s bread and butter: DNA encodes bases (ATCG’s) that will be transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), this mRNA will be the template that will be translated into proteins.

Breakdown: Science's Smaller Questions: RNA pushing the limits: Challenging Central Dogma

Today a paper in Science challenges this theory – and who better to challenge the stable ground that biologists walk on than RNA. Sticking to the high school theme, RNA is molecular biology’s “bad boy”, the sexy boundary-pushing bad boy that breaks all the rules in all of the right ways. Mingyao Li et al. have found that RNA has challenged the Central Dogma, showing that in human cells many proteins do not match their underlying DNA sequences.

Atlas 2.0.6 Released! Nature Study Shows How Molecules Escape From the Nucleus. September 15, 2010 – (BRONX, NY) – By constructing a microscope apparatus that achieves resolution never before possible in living cells, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have illuminated the molecular interactions that occur during one of the most important “trips” in all of biology: the journey of individual messenger Ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules from the nucleus into the cytoplasm (the area between the nucleus and cell membrane) so that proteins can be made. The results, published in the September 15 online edition of Nature, mark a major advance in the use of microscopes for scientific investigation (microscopy).

The findings could lead to treatments for disorders such as myotonic dystrophy in which messenger RNA gets stuck inside the nucleus of cells. Protein synthesis is arguably the most important of all cellular processes.