An RNAbow showing the effect of a mutation on RNA structure.
REPORT OF SCIENCE
2009 – 2010
A RECORD OF THE PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES OF
FACULTY AND STUDENTS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES
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 change.
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 Babcock
This document is printed on recycled paper.
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