Because RNA folding starts even while an RNA is still being made in the cell, the process has proven hugely challenging to follow closely. What’s so groundbreaking about the R2D2 approach, which was published recently in Molecular Cell, is that it combines experimental data on RNA folding at the nucleotide level with predictive algorithms at the atomic level to simulate RNA folding in ultra-slow motion . While other computer simulations have been available for decades, they have lacked much-needed experimental data of this complex folding process to confirm their mathematical modeling. The colors in this video highlight different domains of the RNA molecule, all at different stages in the folding process. Reference: Computationally reconstructing cotranscriptional RNA folding from experimental data reveals rearrangement of non-naïve folding intermediates.
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