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The Evolving World of RNA Editing with Dr. David Nelles

Alexandra Urman
by Alexandra Urman, Analyst
ep111-rna-editing-fyi-podcast
ep111-rna-editing-fyi-podcast

The Evolving World of RNA Editing with Dr. David Nelles

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Up until recently, DNA has dominated the field of technological development. However, RNA is slowly but surely finding its place on the stage. Although it is more fragile, and therefore more difficult to handle, there are a multitude of benefits to working with RNA over DNA, and in today’s episode we are joined by Dr. David Nelles, who is going to open your mind to the power that lies within these special molecules. David has spent the majority of his career building technologies that recognize and change RNA in human cells, and as you’ll hear today, there are numerous benefits to the development of this kind of technology. In our discussion, we talk about how CRISPR is evolving and why it has taken over from other gene editing techniques, the differences between homology directed repair (HDR) and non homologous end joining (NHEJ), and some of the things that David is most excited about in the future of the incredibly diverse and fascinating RNA field.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Factors that caused CRISPR to dominate the gene editing space.
  • David explains the difference between DNA and RNA, using a football analogy.
  • The goal that David centered his PhD around.
  • Variety that exists amongst RND molecules.
  • Benefits of targeting RNA in diseased cells, rather than DNA.
  • Why RNA lagged behind DNA in terms of technological developments.
  • A theory about the role played by RNA in the past.
  • Methods of RNA editing.
  • Comparing homology directed repair (HDR) and non homologous end joining (NHEJ).
  • David provides a breakdown of the various different guides and enzymes.
  • Three kinds of vector systems, and how they work.
  • Examples of the types of RNAs that exist.
  • What David is excited about in the future of the RNA technology field.