In October 2006, Andrew Fire and Craig Mello won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering a process known as RNA interference in the soil nematode Caenorhaditis elegans. More commonly known as RNAi, this process has great therapeutic significance for humans because of its ability to specifically and efficiently regulate gene expression. The capacity to easily regulate gene expression will tremendously impact our ability to combat a wide variety of disorders ranging from cancer to infectious diseases. While the mechanism of RNAi was first published within the last decade, three RNAi-based human therapies are already in clinical trails.
Gregory C. Ellis,
Emerging Biotechnologies Demand Defeat Of Proposed Legislation That Attempts To Ban Gene Patents,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol15/iss1/2