An RNAbow showing the effect of a mutation on RNA structure.
A RECORD OF THE
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES OF
FACULTY AND STUDENTS IN THE NATURAL
RNAbows are a tool Prof. Daniel Aalberts and Bill Jannen
’09 have developed for visualizing RNA structures in thermal equilibrium.
The RNA sequence of bases is represented by the horizontal axis in the center of
the image, with arc thickness between any pair of bases indicating the
probability of pairing between those bases.
One form of hereditary cataract can result when a single base mutation in
a particular region of the L-ferritin messenger RNA changes the way the
resultant molecule folds. The RNAbow cover image dramatically highlights the
structural differences that can occur after making a single substitution at base
22 (from U to G). Red arcs are unique to the folds in the typical sequence,
blue arcs are strengthened in the mutant, and black arcs undergo negligible
The Science Executive Committee wishes to express its gratitude to the
extensive efforts of all the science departmental executive assistants in
preparing contributions for this publication.
Editor: Dr. Bryce
This document is printed on recycled
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