Discovery RNA Interface

Discovery RNA Interface

Background of the Two American scientists

In 27th April 1959, a scientist by the name Zachary Andrew Fire was born in Stamford University Hospital in California. He attended Hollenbeck Elementary school which is a local public school before joining Mango High school and later Fremont High school. Zachary Andrew Fire in 1955 enrolled in the University of California where he received an AB degree in mathematics. In 1978, Zachary Andrew Fire joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue Ph.D. Zachary Andrew Fire had a Ph.D. thesis entitled “In vitro Transcription studies of Adenovirus” which he had submitted in the year 1983. Then, Zachary Andrew Fire trained at Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 1986, where he initiated developments of expression essays on DNA from elegans worms. His research determination and success in his Biological projects propelled Zachary Andrew Fire to Baltimore in the year 1989. Zachary Andrew Fire was later appointed to mentor both undergraduates and graduates at Stamford University of Medicine by Johns Hopkins. This led to Zachary Andrew Fire delivering his Nobel Lecture on 2006 December at Karolinska in Stockholm.

Craig C. Mellow was born on 18th October 1960, in New Haven. He was born in the family of an artist mother and paleontologist. Craig’s father graduated at Yale University with a doctorate in paleontology. Afterward, Craig C. Mellow father moved to northern Virginia at a place called Falls Church. Craig C. Mellow went to grade one up to seven in Fairfax, VA. He grew up knowing that he would be a scientist when he grows up. Craig C. Mellows interest in science was motivated by the religious dogma and his family’s evolutionary discussions. Craig C. Mellow joined Fairfax high school where he opted to undertake all the courses related to science.

Nevertheless, he undertook advanced learning in physics. However, it is an article in 1978 newspaper where Craig C. Mellow learned about molecular biology. The article explained the cloning of the human insulin gene found in bacteria. It further explained how the social, genetic code was able to be read by the bacterial cells.

Craig C. Mellow then pursued molecular biology and biochemistry at Brown University. Afterward, he was introduced to cellular, molecular and developmental biology in the Colorado graduate school. In Colorado, Craig C. Mellow was C. elegans in Dr. David Hirsh’s laboratory. With the help of individuals he found in the laboratory, he was able to trace DNA back to C. elegans. Craig C. Mellow then joined Harvard University for further research on DNA transformation before moving to Massachusetts in 1994 where he learned the RNA injection technique. He then formed his research laboratory. His work promoted him in winning Nobel Prizes in 2006.

                                            Background Information on RNA

In plants, a gene silencing phenomenon was discovered before the RNA interface discovery. In 1990, it was found that there existed a transgene known as genome which resulted from the cloned gene. Genome could both inhibit the expression of homologous sequence expression and stimulate gene activity. It is at the transcriptional level known as transcriptional gene silencing, TGS where gene inhibition activity takes place. However, the fungus Neurospora crassa established through quelling which is a PTGS-like process. There was also further insight in the analysis of plant’s viral infections while according insight into PTGS. Despite RNA’s interface remaining enigmatic until the RNA interface discovery; it played a crucial role in gene silencing.

The recent discovery of 2006 by Nobel lieutenants Craig C. Mello and Andrew Fire on RNA was a discovery on the flow of genetic information. Their exploration majorly concentrated on gene silencing by the double-stranded RNA. American scientists Craig Mello and Andrew Fire published a mechanism that upgrades specific gene from mRNA. When double-stranded pairs occur in the RNA molecules, it activates the RNA interface. Consequently, the mRNA molecules are degraded by the double-stranded RNA. The genetic code resembles the one for double-stranded RNA.

Their Result

Craig C. Mello and Andrew Z fire had various findings in their experiment on the genetic flow of materials within a cell. According to these American scientists, their elegant but simple test concluded that the double-stranded RNA silences genes. The silence was triggered by the dsRNA injected. The gene of the inserted RNA molecule matches with the gene whose code matches RNA interface. Besides, the scientists discovered that the RNA interface could be inherited or else spread between cells. The silencing was specific dsRNA to a homologous mRNA. However, the other mRNAs were not affected. They discovered that RNA interface is a catalyst process as they had to inject minimal amounts of double-stranded RNA to obtain any impact (Soni 2017). In their Nature paper, they explained that neither sense RNA nor antisense or annealed sense only caused the predicted phenotype (Soni 2017). Besides, the severe loss of mRNA target was as a result of double-stranded injection of RNA. Both promoter and intron did not trigger any response when the scientists were determining dsRNA correspondence in a sequence of mature mRNA.  There was degradation in mRNA as there was disappeared in the targeted mRNA. Finally, Craig C. Mello and Andrew Z. Fire discovered that for a full silencing; only a few molecules of dsRNA were required.




Craig C. Mello and Andrew Z. Fire determined the impact of RNA interface injection on a worm and its phenotypic effect. They identify various aspects related to genetic information materials and their silencing RNA effect (Soni 2017). The gene of the injected RNA molecule matches with the gene whose code matches RNA interface. According to scientists, the RNA interface can be inherited or else spread between cells. In a sequence of mature dsRNAs, both promoter and intron cannot trigger any response in mRNA. There is a double-stranded RNA molecule activated by RNA interface. Usually, the RNA interface is found in various organisms including humans, animals, and plants (Soni 2017).

The Reward

Professor Andrew Z. Fire shares the Nobel Prize in several universities within the United States for their absolute discoveries in the double-stranded RNA which triggers the suppression of the gene activity. Indeed, revealed new regulations for the gene mechanisms, in which the biochemical reactions remain helpful in the essential tools for the cellular processes. The laureates discovered fundamental tools to control the formation of the genes. For instance, the awards were given to recommending good work carried out by the genome. The award, being a noble prize, serves as recognition to the excellent work done by those institutions and as well as motivation for extra research. Professor Andrew Z. Fire and Craig Mello published their discoveries to scatter the knowledge on degrading the mRNA from a specific gene. Notably, the award is a source of funds which may be used to intensify the research since genetic activities have drawn the interest of the researchers due to the occurrence of complications such as cancer.




Soni, N. O. (2017). Biodegradable Nanoparticles for Delivering Drugs and Silencing Multiple Genes or Gene activation in Diabetic Nephropathy. Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res, 3(5), 1329-1338.