The article written by Christine Gorman and Dina Maron throws light on the way in which scientific discoveries about the role of ribonucleic acid (RNA) contributed to the development of new medical treatments. These drugs can potentially benefit a great number of people, especially patients suffering from various chronic diseases.
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In should be noted that for a long time, researchers believed that this polymeric molecule played only a minor role, especially in comparison with proteins and DNA which were the major subjects of many studies (Gorman and Maron 54). This opinion has long been prevalent in the scientific community. However, later studies demonstrated that RNA could exercise control over both proteins and DNA.
In particular, RNA could intensify as well as block various cellular processes which are vital for the functioning of living organisms (Gorman and Maron 55). According to the findings of biologists, cells rely on microRNA in order to coordinate the production of various proteins. Apart from that, it can stop the transformation of a gene into a protein. In turn, these functions of RNA can be important for understanding the origins of different disorders such as various forms of cancer.
Additionally, it is important to mention that RNA can play a vital role for the restoration of broken and non-functional genes. These are some of the main scientific discoveries that have profound implications for the activities of healthcare professionals who may acquire new opportunities for treating various diseases which cannot be overcome effectively, at least nowadays. So, it is important to discuss these issues in greater detail.
Additionally, much attention should be paid to the use of “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats” or CRISPR (Gorman and Maron 57). This mechanism is important for re-creating the sequences of the DNA that should be modified (Gorman and Maron 57).
By gaining better insights into this process, researchers will develop better tools for treating various hereditary diseases. Additionally, the use of this mechanism is vital for the creation of genetically-modified organisms that can be required for various professionals. These are some of the major breakthroughs that can be singled out. In many cases, these findings can find practical implications.
It is possible to say that awareness about the role of RNA can result in the creation of different tools which can be used for the diagnosis as well as treatment of various disorders. For instance, one can mention the drugs which are needed to treat hepatitis C affecting millions of people throughout the world. At present, many of the patients cannot derive any benefits from using the existing drugs (Gorman and Maron 57).
In contrast, RNA-based medications can benefit these people because they can decrease the quantity of virions in the liver. Additionally, one should speak about a more targeted gene therapy which did not exist before new scientific discoveries (Gorman and Maron 57). In this way, medical researchers can cut the molecules of DNA at very specific locations (Gorman and Maron 57). As a result, they will eliminate causes of many disorder.
This is one of the elements that can be identified. Moreover, the use of RNA can be useful for treating the notorious Ebola virus which is nowadays discussed by many journalists and medical workers. This danger has become particularly acute at the time when this contagious disease can cross national borders. Thus, the use of RNA-based treatments can be instrumental for reducing a great number of risks endangering the global health. This is one of the improvements that should be taken into consideration.
It is also important to mention that the study of RNA is complicated by the fact that many of these molecules are non-coding. In other words, they do not lead to the creation of proteins. This is why it may be difficult to prove that these molecules perform any important functions which are relevant to the treatment or prevention of various diseases. This is one of the challenges that should be considered. Still, modern scientists have more efficient tools for overcoming these problems.
One should keep mind that at this point, many of the new medications have not passed clinical trials. Only few of them were registered by the Food and Drug Administration. Nevertheless, these developments can have profound implications for the work of healthcare professionals who currently find many of the existing medications ineffective. This is one of the points that can be made.
The article indicates that there are various investments into this particular field. For instance, some medical research companies received more than $ 700 million (Gorman and Maron 59). These examples suggest the new scientific discoveries attracted the attention of many pharmaceutical companies.
At present, the main task is to translate theoretical discoveries into practical applications. On the whole, this investment can bring significant improvements into the lives of many people, especially at the time when new drugs pass the necessary tests. Therefore, better insights into the functions of RNA can be vital for many stakeholders.
Gorman, Christine and Dina Maron. “The RNA Revolution.” Scietific American 310.4. (2014): 52-59. Print.