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Cures using interfering RNAi may be around the Corner

October 17th 2005

Cures using interfering RNAi may be around the Corner

RNA Interference

It is becoming more evident each day that your DNA has a lot to with the diseases you get, including cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.  Scientists have always wondered if there was a way to change your genes to prevent these illnesses. 

One of the more exciting avenues in this study is RNA interference (or RNAi).  During the 1990's, scientists realized the power of the RNAi technique to determine gene function by blocking the expression of a specific mRNAs. 

The silencing (or interference) occurs when an organism (like a human) is injected with an RNA sequence that is complementary to the mRNA transcribed from the target gene.  The interference will block the production of an encoded protein.  This may be a process to correct many genetic defects.


There are some hurdles.  Scientists need to figure out a way to get the interfering RNA drugs to the right targets.  They must also deal with “veering”.  This involves the drugs veering off the original target affecting or shutting down good genes. 

It is hoped some of the new RNAi drugs enter trials within the next 5 years and may be FDA approved in the next decade.  Some of the early trials may take place with patients suffering from macular degeneration, cancer, HIV, Huntington’s disease, Hepatitis, and respiratory infections. 

RNA drugs may delivered to the lungs and eye rather simply.  Lung infections in the future may be cured by simply breathing in a RNAi drug.  Eye diseases may be solved by simple eye drops. 

Cancer often involves mutant genes that promote cell longevity and multiplication.  According to PBS, researchers have silenced more than a dozen known cancer-causing genes with RNAi.  Delivery of the drug has been the problem here. RNAi may play a supporting role along with chemotherapy. 

Recently the gene that controls cellular inflammation was discovered.  Inflammation leads to diabetes, heart disease and other deadly ailments.  It may be possible to cure several problems in one by simply interfering with the inflammation gene.  Until then a healthy diet an exercise is in order.


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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Genetics

Keywords and misspellings:  interference interfering dsRNA

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM