News | October 01, 2006

Nobel Winners Can Interrupt Disease-Making Genes

Americans Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello have won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for their discover of “RNA interference,” a powerful way to turn off the effect of specific genes.

A Yahoo!News story reports that the technique is already being widely used in basic science as a way to study the function of genes, and it is being studied as a treatment for infections such as the AIDS and hepatitis viruses, as well as other conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

Fire, 47, of Stanford University, and Mello, 45, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, published their seminal work in 1998. Their research was conducted at the Washington-based Carnegie Institution.

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