RNA is a natural molecule that has the potential to improve disease treatments, agricultural approaches, and science
For Members of the Public
RNA (RiboNucleic Acid) is a naturally-occurring molecule found in the cells of all living things. 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.
A major goal of RNA Canada ARN is to inform and educate all Canadians about RNA, its potential uses, new discoveries, and how Canadian researchers are driving the field forward. This knowledge will empower Canadians to make informed decisions about how they engage with RNA technologies in the future.