August 8, 2019 – Double stranded RNA


Anchor lead: Is there a way to help the body regenerate? Elizabeth Tracey reports

RNA is the acronym for a molecule usually used to make proteins from a DNA code, but it’s also used by viruses to help invade them control cells. Now research by Luis Garza, a dermatologist at Johns Hopkins, has shown that a two-stranded version of the molecule known as double stranded RNA is also important in regeneration.

Garza: Formerly double stranded RNA are viruses. It was first conceived that double stranded RNA sensing was a way that you would fight off viruses. When you did detect double stranded RNA that was a trigger to turn on your immune system to fight off the virus. More recently we’ve discovered that its not just viruses, that double stranded RNA are probably released during damage, and that damage  is sensed by your body, and instead of just sending up an immune reaction to fight off infection it actually sets up a whole kind of program to initiate regeneration.  :28

Garza’s research looked at people who’d recently been treated with lasers for skin conditions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.