The Princeton team's work has also resulted in new insights on the enzyme's function. The enzyme can be an important participant in the innate immune system, a rapid and wide response to invaders that includes the production of a molecule known as interferon. Interferon relays distress signals from contaminated cells to neighboring healthful cells, thus activating RNase L to carefully turn on its ability to slice through RNA, a kind of genetic material that’s similar to DNA. The effect is new cells armed for destruction of the foreign RNA. The 3D structure uncovered by Korennykh and his team includes two nearly similar subunits called protomers. The researchers discovered that one protomer finds and attaches to the RNA, as the various other protomer snips it. The initial protomer latches onto among the four letters that define the RNA code, specifically, the U, which stands for an element of RNA called uridine.On top of that, you can shop it for lengthy periods of time.’ That means it is especially interesting to government officials looking to stockpile radioprotective substances in the event of accidental or terrorist-caused radiological disasters. Co-author Keith Cengel, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn, clarifies that in such instances, ‘a big issue may be the ‘worried well’ – – all the folks who most likely weren’t exposed but are worried and wish to accomplish something.’ Many potential radioprotectors, however, could have risky unwanted effects. Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou provides, ‘When you give something to 4 or 5 5 million ‘worried well,’ you have people with preexisting medical conditions. You can’t give just anything to people with heart disease, for instance.