Dr. Craig C. Mello

RNA Interference

Andrew Fire, SiQun Xu, Mary K. Montgomery, Steven A. Kostas, Samuel E. Driver & Craig C. Mello. 1998. Potent and specific genetic interference by double stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature. 391(6669):806-11.

Question 1 Movie

Briefly tell us a bit about yourself, your career path over the years, and specifically what led you to the discovery of RNA interference.

Michael Barresi

Question 2 Movie

Can you please describe your current model of RNA interference, and what types of approaches your lab has taken in the past few years to achieve this model?

Jessie Paull

Question 3 Movie

How is non-native dsRNA not degraded by the cell upon injection? Is it being processed in someway such as gaining a 5’cap and 3’poly-A tail that might help it to ‘dodge’ the RNAses of the cell? Does the length of the dsRNA play a critical role in this protection process?

Aileen Novero

Question 4 Movie

I was wondering if you could clarify how dsRNA or other forms of RNAi can be passed onto the progeny of C. elegans? (“interference effects can persist well into the next generation, even though many endogenous RNA transcripts are rapidly degraded in the early embryo”). How many generations can interference be detected?

Valerie Roche

Question 5 Movie

What evolutionary roles has RNAi played? What would be advantageous about having RNA that functions to breakdown mRNA after the initial energy investment of transcription? How did RNAi evolve?

Catherine Masek

Question 6 Movie

How do you see the discover of RNAi influencing medicine? Currently in your opinion what are the most pressing questions in the field of RNA interference, and what steps is your lab taking to address those questions?

Michael Barresi