What is RNA?

Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, is extremely essential to your health, yet it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as DNA. What exactly is RNA and why is it so beneficial? Read below to find out more!


RNA is a copy, or a transcription, of DNA. Everyone knows that DNA holds all of the information about our genetic makeup and sits in the nucleus of the cell, but no one realizes that RNA is DNA’s twin and works much harder than our DNA does.


Like previously mentioned, RNA is a copy of DNA — they are twins. Our DNA is extremely important, since it holds the information needed for making new cells and maintaining life, so it never leaves the nucleus. But our RNA, on the other hand, is the one that goes out to do work throughout the cell. Without RNA, our bodies wouldn’t be able to make proteins — and proteins account for 20% of our bodies.


The process of making a copy of our DNA is called transcription. This is vital when making proteins. Our DNA (which is a double helix) is copied and transcribed into a single-helix RNA strand. The RNA then can take on one of three different forms:


Ribosomal RNA, or rRNA

Messenger RNA, or mRNA

and Transfer RNA, or tRNA.


So the next time someone says that DNA is the most important part of our genetic makeup, remind them we wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for DNA’s less popular twin, RNA.

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