marissa elman blog exposed

Captivated by Comets

Captivated by Comets

2013 looks like a good year for comets! We find out where these balls of dust and ice come from and what to expect from Pan-STARRS and ISON. Plus, the close fly-by of Asteroid 2012 DA14, the fireball that exploded over Russia and your space science questions.

The wonderful world of RNA – Naked Genetics 13.02.14

The wonderful world of RNA

RNA polymerase (c) Alterganon

You’ve probably heard of DNA, but what do you know about RNA? As well as being the molecule that shuttles information from our genes into our cells, it also plays a huge number of other roles in all cells, from bacteria and viruses to tiny worms, plants and humans. Plus we delve into quadruplex DNA, wonder about the wolf genome, speculate on skin colour and our gene of the month has a literary twist.

Listen Now
   Download as mp3

In this edition of Naked Genetics

Full Transcript

  • Wild-type C. elegans hermaphrodite stained to highlight the nuclei of all cells (c) 2004 The Evolution of Self-Fertile Hermaphroditism: The Fog Is Clearing. PLoS Biol 3(1): e30. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030030

    01:07 – Dr Julie Claycomb – Understanding RNA

    Everyone’s heard of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid to give it its full name – the blueprint of life that encodes the information that tells our cells when to grow, what to be and when to die. But there’s another important player in the world of molecular biology, and that’s RNA, …

  • Quadruplex DNA (c) Tim Vickers

    08:26 – Quadruplex DNA

    The first thing we’ve picked out is a really interesting story about quadruplex DNA which sounds like this big new, exciting thing.

  • Dogs - Social animals (c) Adam.J.W.C.

    11:39 – Dog domestication

    Researchers have used genetics to answer questions about how dogs may have become domesticated

  • Melanoma (c) National Cancer Institute

    15:09 – Gene mutation in melanoma

    Writing in the journal Science, German researchers have revealed a previously unknown genetic route to melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

  • Two hands forming a heart shape (c) Leon Brocard

    16:25 – Gender gene clues to heart disease

    As we approach Valentine’s day, much is made of the difference between the behaviour of men’s and women’s hearts in the romantic sense. But in purely biological terms there’s little difference between these organs, except for small differences in the electrical signals they prod…

  • DNA Helix (c)

    17:33 – Storing stories in DNA

    And finally, enormous library archives of magnetic tape or other media could one day be a thing of the past if a new data storage technique takes off – storing information encoded in DNA.

  • Microscopy image of a herpes virus. (c) Linda Stannard, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

    22:05 – Professor Joan Steitz – Viral RNAs

    Joan Steitz at Yale University has worked on RNA for more than three decades, and specialises in the small RNAs produced by viruses. I started by asking her how RNA research has grown in importance over recent years.

  • African woman (c) Anna Langova

    25:27 – Why are there different skin colors?

    Does human migration have something to do with skin color change? My main question is why are there different skin colors, how did it happen?

  • Sherry (c) Matt Saunders

    28:19 – Gene of the month – Amontillado

    And finally, our gene of the month is Amontillado, a gene with a rather macabre twist. Horror fans may know 19th century writer Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Cask of Amontillado”, where an unwitting victim is lured into a wine cellar with the promise of a precious vintage sherry,…

Supported by





Subscribe Free

Related Content


marissa elman website exposed

Methane on Mars and Meeting Astronauts

Methane on Mars and Meeting Astronauts

Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham meet British astronaut Tim Peake at the British Interplanetary Society. They are joined by space scientist Jane MacArthur, whose methane experiment is currently being tested on a Mars simulation in Morocco, and Ralph Timberlake on the future of the British Interplanetary Society as it celebrates its 80th year. Add on a report on Kicksat and sprites from NASA Ames in California, and Professor Michele Dougherty – whose team discovered Enceladus’ icy plumes – and you have another spacetacular podcast.