Why Study RNA?

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RNA is often called the “Dark Matter of Biology.” Built from only four chemical pieces (A, U, G, and C), RNA chains play key roles in living organisms, from protein synthesis to HIV replication. We now know that RNA changes its shape or structure in a manner governed largely by simple, two-dimensional rules, allowing RNA and its partners to respond and control cells. However, the full biological and medical implications of these discoveries are still being worked out.

By playing EteRNA, you will help expand and curate the first large scale library of synthetic RNA designs. Your efforts will help us understand, dissect, and control the functional properties of RNAs from bacteria, viruses, our own cells, and from your imagination. This is a critical step to a next generation of RNA computers and “smart” therapeutics. Join the global laboratory!


Some scientist have proposed the RNA world hypothesis. The proposal is that life on earth didn’t start as DNA or Proteins but rather RNA. RNA can be used to store data like DNA but can also carry out functions and activities like Proteins.

If scientists want to try to learn about the evolution of life and imitate these properties by trying to make these RNAs carry out neat functions, we will need to make some RNAs that can carry out some of these neat activities.



EteRNA - Played by humans scored by nature

I think that there was on some meteorites adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine, uracil, and amino acids. I think that life started with both DNA and RNA.

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