Op-Ed: RNA can revolutionize medicine

A half-century ago, James Watson and Francis Crick became renowned for revealing the double helix structure of DNA, the molecule in each cell that provides the “blueprint” for human beings. This breakthrough laid the foundation for our understanding of how information is transferred in biology.

Arguably one of the most profound scientific discoveries of the 20th century — solving the DNA structure — required the collaboration of scientists from the physical and biological sciences.

Now, a collaboration at the University of Michigan has set out to bring insights from the molecular realm of RNA to bedside medicine. Rapidly emerging insights into how RNA, DNA’s close chemical cousin, helps modify, safeguard and translate genetic information in each of us is offering the promise of a personalized “precision medicine.”

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