Unlike anything we know in the real world, all this complex machinery that confounds us just somehow, rather quickly, fell into place:
Similar to a light switch, RNA switches (called riboswitches) determine which genes turn “on” and “off.” Although this may seem like a simple process, the inner workings of these switches have confounded biologists for decades.
Now researchers led by Northwestern University and the University at Albany discovered one part of RNA smoothly invades and displaces another part of the same RNA, enabling the structure to rapidly and dramatically change shape. Called “strand displacement,” this mechanism appears to switch genetic expression from “on” to “off.”Amanda Morris, “Unprecedented videos show RNA switching ‘on’ and ‘off’” at Northwestern Now (March 28, 2022)
The paper is open access.
You may also wish to read: Forthcoming book: “RNA is the cornerstone of cell biology” Remember the people who used to say, of their DNA, “This is me”? Didn’t wear well, that.