PerspectiveMolecular Biology

Is There Social RNA?

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Science  02 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6145, pp. 467-468
DOI: 10.1126/science.1243175

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Our understanding of the forms, functions, and movement of RNA continues to expand. Not only can RNA control gene expression by multiple mechanisms within a cell, it appears to travel outside the cell within an organism as well. This raises the interesting question of whether the RNA world extends beyond the boundaries of the organism. Can RNA traffic integrate an organism into its environment—is there “social RNA”? Examining the mechanism of RNA interference (RNAi) may be a good route for seeking the answer.