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A wayward petunia leads to the discovery of modest little molecules with enormous medical promise.

Publish Date: Topic: Body + BrainBody & BrainBrand: NOVA ScienceNOWNOVA ScienceNOW

(This video is no longer available for streaming.) RNA, the close chemical cousin of DNA, was once thought to be a bit player in the life of a cell, but not anymore. RNA is now at the heart of a scientific and medical revolution. It's a revolution that started with the cultivation of a purple petunia, and it has led scientists to what may be the most important advance in biology in decades. Through a process known as RNAi (the "i" is for interference), researchers have a new way to shut off specific genes, yielding insights into the human genome as well as providing potential treatments for a wide range of diseases.

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