Originally commission by the Ithaca Science Center for "Too Small Too See
-- an exhibit on nano-technology.
"RNA Folding" is a cartoon simulation of an RNA molecule. RNA, like DNA, is a
linear polymer that can encode information but, unlike DNA, it forms single-stranded chains which can
reach back and base-pair with themselves. This permit RNAs to form
stable structures which can act as catalysts. Indeed,
began as self-copying RNA
In this exhibit, participants can pull apart an RNA molecule with their
hands and watch as it
spontaneously refolds into its native conformation. The simple message
is that it take energy to disrupt a folded molecule into a shape other than
its native fold. Removing that energy allows the molecule to go right
back to its favorite shape.
(c) 2010 Mine-Control, Inc.