What Is RNA And What Role Does It Play In Optimal Health? [James Maskell]


What is RNA and what role does it play
in human health? Again, Dr. Jeffrey Bland on the Functional Forum. [guitar riff] This book is another one. This is another British author. A very very well written review, really going back to the dawn of the study of DNA. And I won’t go through the whole history, but in this book he talks about the – RNA is referred to as DNA’s cousin. Some scientists, however, believe that RNA may be the oldest form of genetic information. As you probably know, RNA is single-stranded. It doesn’t…and because of the having ribose rather than deoxyribose, it doesn’t bend itself into the triple helix efficiently. But it does pull back on itself to form loops and to form these interesting fingers that then have topological structure-function
relationships in opening or closing portions of the genome. Now that’s a very interesting thing – that’s a structure -function relationship. It’s the three-dimensional genome. Basically, if you get where I’m going, so
the way RNA can fold based upon its structure gives rise to the ability to shield or the mask or to open up certain portions of the genome for reading. And that sounds like epigenetics, right? Which it is. So your non-coding RNA has a
big role to play in your epigenomic messaging and patterning over experiences. So what we look at then, as I think I’ve already said this, that the RNA then is single-stranded. It has ribose versus deoxyribose, and
therefore it also has uracil versus thymine. So there’s a nucleic acid change. When we start asking, what does it do? Well it has three major types of RNA that you’re familiar with. Messenger RNA that takes the message off DNA to make protein in the ribosome. But it also has ribosomal RNA
and then one of the members of my biotech company is the one
of the founders of transfer RNA, now Paul Schimmel, which as you know pulls amino
acids into from the cytoplasm and takes it to the messenger RNA. And that whole process is one of the most intimate, beautiful, elegant dances that you can imagine as to how that whole process as a nanomachine really works to make protein. But beyond those, there are these other types of RNA that are within this non-coding region. The mitochondrial RNA…because remember we have genetic information within our mitochondria that’s passed on maternally, and then the small nuclear RNA’s and micro-RNA’s. Johnny Maddick just wrote an article
a couple of years ago on the rise of regulatory RNA, and he said, “RNA is acomputational engine of cellular biology, developmental biology, brain function, and possibly evolution itself. The complexity and interconnectedness of the genetic code with the non-coding RNA should not be the cause for concern, but rather the motivation for exploring the vast unknown universe of RNA regulation, without which we will not understand biology.” So that’s really what the dark matter that we’re looking into on February 29th is all about. We can’t just, because it’s a unusual day… this is an unusual day to be remembered,
because I think this structure of the the nucleosome and how that
three-dimensional structure opens and closes to allow reader enzymes to come
in to transcribe certain information is regulated by these non-coding regions, which are an intimate contact with our lifestyle in our environment, is all going to show in a moment, including our thoughts, attitude,s and beliefs which can change the three-dimensional structure of the genome. So these are really this sounds like a little bit of woo-woo stuff, but now we have the tools to really
measure this, to quantify it, to replicate it, and it becomes suddenly science. Thanks so much for watching, and for more great clips like this please subscribe to our You Tube channel. I’ve created a special free video just
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