RNA-oriented Nobel Prizes

On 6 Nobel prizes, 2 were awarded to people involved in research about RNA. The 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Andrew Fire and Craig Mello “for their discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA”. And the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Roger Kornberg “for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription”.

RNA interference is a mechanism where a “double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) interferes with the expression of a particular gene”. And transcription is basically the process through which a DNA sequence is copied to produce a complementary RNA.

Some years ago, everyone was talking about genomics, the study of genes. Now people working on RNA win Nobel Prizes. Knowing that DNA is transcripted into RNAs and that some RNAs (mRNA) are later translated into proteins, I predict that we’ll see a future Nobel Prize in proteomics, the study of proteins. 😉 Ok, Fenn, Tanaka and Wüthrich already won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for MALDI and NMR mass spectrometry, a technique used, a.o., to identify proteins. And Blobel won a Nobel Prize in 1999 for protein targeting.