Special Viewpoints

RNA Silencing: The Genome's Immune System

Science  17 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5571, pp. 1263-1265
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072148

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Abstract

Genomes are databases sensitive to invasion by viruses. In recent years, a defense mechanism has been discovered, which turns out to be conserved among eukaryotes. The system can be compared to the immune system in several ways: It has specificity against foreign elements and the ability to amplify and raise a massive response against an invading nucleic acid. The latter property is beginning to be understood at the molecular level.

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