Gene Splicing in Action

Citizen Science 3

Our June La Jolla Lecture was an excellent overview of gene splicing by Dr. Aaron Robart.  He introduced us the process of how our cells use DNA to make proteins, which then go on and perform thousands of different functions in our bodies.  The translation process involves copying parts of the genetic code in to mRNA.  There are several parts of the sequence that are actually not used at all or used in different combinations to make different proteins.  This is where splicing gets exciting!  Specialized molecules are involved in cutting out the sequences that aren’t going to be used and mistakes in this process can result in non-functional proteins and have been implicated in many different types of diseases.  Dr. Robart’s recent work focused on using crystallography to determine the fine structure of a splicing molecule, which has helped us learn much more about how it does this precise work!

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