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Scripps Research Institute scientists have found the structure of Argonaute2, which can effectively "silence" a gene by intercepting and slicing the gene's RNA transcripts before they are translated into working proteins. Credit: Image courtesy of the MacRae lab, the Scripps Research Institute.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the three-dimensional atomic structure of a human protein that is centrally involved in regulating the activities of cells. Knowing the precise structure of this protein paves the way for scientists to understand a process known as RNA-silencing and to harness it to treat diseases.