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What Is RNA Prediction?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is the single-stranded molecule that can store and move genetic information around in cells. Scientists have tried to predict the shape and arrangement of nucleotides like cytosine, adenine, guanine, and uracil, to get a better understanding of genetics. Using data consisting of general properties, and knowledge of what certain RNA types are composed of, RNA prediction is possible. Certain types of RNA, like messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (tRNA) show patterns and trends that can be seen in nucleotide sequences and in terms of physical structure.

The sequences of proteins that make up the molecule are the focus of RNA prediction. It is not only the protein sequence that scientists look for in predicting RNA composition, but the structures that make up the molecule. Paired nucleotides, the foundation of genetics, are located in the stem of RNA. There are also unpaired proteins that reside on loops, while connecting points called bulges are another factor in prediction.

Secondary and tertiary structures in RNA macromolecules are important to RNA prediction. These molecular structures serve a purpose in genetic sequencing, so that the related biological processes can occur normally. Also, the grooves created by things such as hydroxyl groups on the outer structure of the molecule determine what kinds of proteins can attach. Even in viruses that contain double-stranded ribonucleic acid, RNA prediction enables researchers to judge based on knowledge of how proteins interact with the molecular structure.

Patterns seen with evolutionary traits are also factored into RNA prediction models. Knowing what makes up certain pieces of genetic material helps predict the composition of similar structures. Evolutionary changes occur slowly over time, so using such patterns for accurate predicting is viable. Different kinds of RNA have known variations in gene sequences as well. Using consistent patterns, scientists can input such data into a computer to predict what the sequences of a similarly structured piece of genetic information will look like.

As ways of observing genetic material improve, previously undiscovered forms of RNA can be found. Various methods can be used for categorization and to establish accurate RNA prediction. Genes are what determine every biological feature and function of organisms, including those composed of one cell, as well as animals and people. Predicting how all of them are structured and interact can be beneficial to understanding human and animal genomes, and for assessing the genetics of dangerous viruses and bacteria.

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