Vaccination

Racing to deliver a vaccine to the masses

Penn, together with The Wistar Institute, have conducted research that is part of the backstory of a variety of successful vaccines. Since the 1950s, their scientists have had a hand in research that undergirds widely used ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How COVID-19 sheds when symptoms are relatively mild

Detailed virological analysis of nine adults from Munich, Germany, with comparatively mild symptoms of COVID-19 respiratory disease is reported in a paper published in Nature. The study shows that there is active replication ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

'Calling all scientists': Experts volunteer for virus fight

Michael Wells was looking for a chance to use his scientific training to help fight the coronavirus when—on the same day the pandemic forced his lab to temporarily close—he decided to create his own opportunity.

Medical research

New study reveals how skin cells prepare to heal wounds

A team of University of California, Irvine researchers have published the first comprehensive overview of the major changes that occur in mammalian skin cells as they prepare to heal wounds. Results from the study provide ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Stanford Medicine COVID-19 test now in use

The Stanford Health Care Clinical Virology Laboratory has launched a diagnostic test developed for the virus that causes COVID-19.

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RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a biologically important type of molecule that consists of a long chain of nucleotide units. Each nucleotide consists of a nitrogenous base, a ribose sugar, and a phosphate. RNA is very similar to DNA, but differs in a few important structural details: in the cell, RNA is usually single-stranded, while DNA is usually double-stranded; RNA nucleotides contain ribose while DNA contains deoxyribose (a type of ribose that lacks one oxygen atom); and RNA has the base uracil rather than thymine that is present in DNA.

RNA is transcribed from DNA by enzymes called RNA polymerases and is generally further processed by other enzymes. RNA is central to the synthesis of proteins. Here, a type of RNA called messenger RNA carries information from DNA to structures called ribosomes. These ribosomes are made from proteins and ribosomal RNAs, which come together to form a molecular machine that can read messenger RNAs and translate the information they carry into proteins. There are many RNAs with other roles – in particular regulating which genes are expressed, but also as the genomes of most viruses.

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