The Kafatos Lectures aim to bring relevant bioscientific research closer to a broad audience and to communicate its daily impact on society. On 20 October from 6 p.m., Elena Conti, a biochemist and structural biologist of world renown, will give a guest lecture at the Museum Mensch und Natur - the BIOTOPIA Lab and the Naturkundemuseum Bayern are co-organisers.
Elena Conti's lecture "Should it stay or should it go: how cells control the life and death of mRNA molecules" focuses on the important role of mRNAs as temporary messenger molecules in our cells. mRNAs are synthesised, fulfil their function and are then excreted again.
In order for them to be healthy and function well, our cells need to ensure a careful balance between protecting functional mRNA molecules and degrading unnecessary or defective ones. This process can be compared to the efficient management of a busy office, where useful documents are kept while unnecessary or potentially harmful information is discarded.
Just as we have paper shredders in offices for this purpose, cells have molecular nanomachines that shred RNAs. Failure of these systems leads to an accumulation of unwanted molecules with harmful consequences for the organism. How do the quality control nanomachines in our cells recognise unneeded or defective mRNAs and degrade them? What properties do mature, correctly packaged mRNAs have that enable them to evade degradation?
In this lecture, Elena Conti will present her findings on the molecular mechanisms that determine the life and death of mRNAs in our cells.
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