Listen ad-free

Step Aside, DNA. It’s RNA’s Time To Shine.

Science Friday

10-06-2024 • 17 mins

DNA has long been studied and understood as the genetic blueprint for life on Earth. And related scientific endeavors, like the Human Genome Project, have received enormous attention. But DNA’s lesser-known counterpart, RNA, which translates the instructions from those blueprints into proteins in our cells, has received far less focus.

But a lot’s changed in the last few years. The success of the mRNA COVID vaccines has led to a renewed interest in the potential medical therapies for this tiny molecular powerhouse, with applications ranging from CRISPR gene-editing to an mRNA-based cancer vaccine.

Dr. Thomas Cech, distinguished professor in biochemistry at University of Colorado, Boulder, and the author of the book The Catalyst: RNA and the Quest to Unlock Life’s Deepest Secrets, joins Ira Flatow to tell us how why RNA has gotten the shorter end of the research stick for so long, how it could help us understand the origins of life, and why this misunderstood molecule might be the key to a next generation of big scientific discoveries.

Read an excerpt from The Catalyst: RNA and the Quest to Unlock Life’s Deepest Secrets at sciencefriday.com.

Transcripts for each segment will be available after the show airs on sciencefriday.com.

Subscribe to this podcast. Plus, to stay updated on all things science, sign up for Science Friday's newsletters.

You Might Like

StarTalk Radio
StarTalk Radio
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
Radiolab
Radiolab
WNYC Studios
Sasquatch Chronicles
Sasquatch Chronicles
Sasquatch Chronicles - Bigfoot Encounters
Something You Should Know
Something You Should Know
Mike Carruthers | OmniCast Media | Cumulus Podcast Network
Paranormal Mysteries
Paranormal Mysteries
Nic Ryan Media | Unexplained Supernatural Stories
This Podcast Will Kill You
This Podcast Will Kill You
Exactly Right Media – the original true crime comedy network
Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
Science Vs
Science Vs
Spotify Studios
Tooth & Claw: True Stories of Animal Attacks
Tooth & Claw: True Stories of Animal Attacks
Wes Larson, Jeff Larson, Mike Smith | QCODE