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August 17th, 2015 / MIT Technology Review

thumb.aspx The cells of plants and animals carry their instructions in the form of DNA. To make a protein, the sequence of genetic letters in each gene gets copied into matching strands of RNA, which then float out of the nucleus to guide the protein-making machinery of the cell. RNA interference, or gene silencing, is a way to destroy specific RNA messages so that a particular protein is not made. The mechanism is a natural one: it appears to have evolved as a defense system against viruses. See more