Small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules are pieces of RNA that block the activity of genes through a natural process called RNA interference (RNAi). This process has emerged as a powerful tool used in thousands of labs worldwide to understand gene function. Because each siRNA molecule can block a different gene, RNAi can tell scientists about the role of any gene in maintaining health or causing disease. Read the latest news about these genes below.
On Dec. 11, 2013, NIH announced that for the first time, large-scale information on the biochemical makeup of small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules is available publicly. NCATS researchers collaborated with Life Technologies Corp. of Carlsbad, California, which owns the siRNA information, to make it available to all researchers.
On Nov. 25, 2013, NIH announced that NCATS and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke researchers used RNAi technology to identify dozens of genes that may represent new therapeutic targets for treating Parkinson’s disease. The research was published online in Nature.
On March 5, 2013, NCATS scientists published results of an RNAi screening study identifying a protein that could represent a therapeutic target for glaucoma.
An article published on Feb. 26, 2013, revealed that a human genome-wide RNAi screen had identified candidate genes that modulate the activity of vaccinia virus, representing possible therapeutic targets.