For Government Officials and Members of Funding Agencies
RNA is the future of medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology
RNA (RiboNucleic Acid) is a naturally-occurring molecule found in the cells of all living creatures. RNA is similar to DNA in some ways and uses building blocks called nucleotides (A, U, G, C) as a code or set of instructions. However, while the main job of DNA is to store the complete set of genetic instructions for building an organism (also called the “genome), it is RNA that executes these instructions to perform many key jobs in our cells. In fact, RNA is not one type of molecule, but many. Because of this central role and the diverse types of RNA that exist in cells, we can harness RNA as both a target for manipulation or treatment in our cells, and as a tool that can be used for medical, biotechnology, and agricultural advances.
RNA scientists across Canada are working to understand the many roles and features of different types of RNA in cells. In partnership with Canadian biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, we can translate these discoveries into new vaccines and disease treatments, new ways to protect crops and livestock against pests, and new laboratory technologies that enable scientists to advance and accelerate their research.
The Canadian Government plays a key role in fostering a dynamic and thriving RNA research ecosystem across the nation. By providing robust funding envelopes for basic research in academic RNA science and academic-industry strategic partnerships, the government fuels the discovery of novel fundamental principles and functions of RNA, which can be translated into new therapeutics, agricultural innovations, and biotechnologies.