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The GeneEd website is scheduled to be retired on March 31, 2019. Selected GeneEd content will be transferred to Genetics Home Reference, another online resource from the National Library of Medicine.

We’re interested in feedback from regular users of GeneEd as we determine how best to make this transition. Please share your thoughts in a brief survey.



Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule similar to DNA. Unlike DNA, RNA is single-stranded. An RNA strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (ribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases--adenine (A), uracil (U), cytosine (C), or guanine (G). Different types of RNA exist in the cell: messenger RNA (mRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and transfer RNA (tRNA). More recently, some small RNAs have been found to be involved in regulating gene expression.

Images and animations are courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute's Talking Glossary (

Materials for RNA


RNA Folding

Description: An animation of how RNA forms protein-like structures

RNA Interface

Description: An animation of RNA


Remarkable RNAs

Description: An article reviewing the different types of RNA

RNA Functions

Description: An article on the different types of RNA and the function of each type

The New Genetics - RNA and DNA Revealed

Description: Information from a science education booklet explaining microRNAs, RNAi, epigenetics, telomeres, mtDNA, and recombinant DNA



Description: A video game that challenges players to design new ways to fold RNA molecules

Interactive Tutorials

Click and Learn App

Description: Interactively explore topics in biology with the Click and Learn app. Each module features supporting videos and animations (Internet connection required). Learn about topics in evolution, neurobiology, infectious diseases, bioinformatics, stem cells, RNA, obesity, cancer, and genomics.

DNA Sequence Editor Web App

Description: DNA Sequence Editor is a free web tool to analyze and edit your DNA sequence. Enter your DNA sequence and you can get the reverse, complementary or transcription sequence of your DNA. It can also translate your DNA sequence into possible amino acid sequences. It also help you to predict the DNA enzyme digestion result. Just select an enzyme from the list and you can get the size and sequence of each restricted DNA fragment. It is a useful web tool for molecular biology students and professionals. It is a great help for your molecular cloning work.

RNA is an Intermediary Between DNA and Protein

Description: An interactive Web site exploring basic concepts of RNA through historical discovery

RNA was the First Genetic Molecule

Description: An interactive Web site exploring basic concepts of RNA through historical discovery

Some Viruses Store Genetic Information in RNA

Description: An interactive Web site exploring basic concepts of RNA through historical discovery



Description: A video on RNA interference (RNAi)

The RNA Origin of Life

Description: Go on a tour of RNA's evolving role through billions of years of evolutionary history.