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  • Report:Caltech scientist Cody Geary delivers lecture on RNA origami to UEC students and faculty


Report:Caltech scientist Cody Geary delivers lecture on RNA origami to UEC students and faculty

January 28, 2016

In 2014 Cody Geary and colleagues in the USA and Denmark reported in Science on the production of intricate nanoscale molecular structures by exploiting the “enzymatically based folding” of ribonucleic acid (RNA)-single stranded molecules that act as ‘genetic-messengers’ relaying information from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to proteins produced by specific cells [1]. The development of this “RNA origami” process by Geary and colleagues is a major advance for producing biochemical factories inside living cells to elucidate how organisms function as well as applications including diagnosing diseases.

“My interest in RNA was sparked by an assignment on in-vivo experiments in a literature review class as an undergrad at Caltech,” says Geary. “I thought, experiments that perform themselves; what more could scientists ask for.” Intrigued by self-assembly and the invention of DNA origami by Caltech’s Paul Rothemund, Geary moved to UC Santa Barbara for his doctorate, where his international and interdisciplinary approach to research eventually led to the development of RNA origami.

During his visit to UEC, Geary gave a lecture about his research on molecular self-assembly to an audience of undergraduate students and faculty, where the majority of the students were from the undergraduate course on ‘Communication Science’.

“I enjoyed the lecture and the insightful questions afterwards,” says Geary. “I hope that the lecture will inspire students to take an interest in areas of research that are not directly related to their own majors. Modern science is dynamic and requires researchers to re-invent themselves every few years.”

The lecture was organized by Shinnosuke Seki, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, who is collaborating with Dr. Geary on computational modelling of self-assembly of RNA origami [2].

Further information and references
  • [1] C. Geary, P. W. K. Rothemund, E. S. Andersen, Science 345, 799, (2014).
  • [2] UEC e-Bulletin Topics Vol.8, 2015: Shinnosuke Seki, Cotranscriptional folding: Computational modelling of self-assembly of RNA origami for universal computation.
Cody Geary and Shinnosuke Seki
Discussion after the lecture
Cody Geary delivering his lecture
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