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RNA goes 3D

Ryan Rahrig, assistant professor of statistics, and his co-authors have published a paper, "R3D Align web server for global nucleotide to nucleotide alignments of RNA 3D structures," in the journal, Nucleic Acids Research, volume 41, issue W1. Read the article.

R3D Align is based on an algorithm developed by Rahrig for aligning the nucleotides of two homologous RNA molecules given their crystal structures and is available to researchers online. Researchers from 30 countries around the world have used the website for analyzing their data.  They can input their data on a website and Rahrig's algorithm will produce a three-dimensional representation of the molecule.

RNA is a molecule similar to DNA but it consists of a single strand of amino acids, while DNA consists of a double strand. RNA is particularly important in the movement and transmission of information within the cell. The researchers using the site would include molecular biologists, cancer researchers and people involved in working with the human genome.