Clinical researchers are constantly trying to convince cells within
the body to change their ways. In some conditions, such as cancer, they want
to stop cells from growing; in others, such as Parkinson disease, they want
to keep cells from dying.
Because gene expression controls how a cell looks and acts, a logical
approach to manipulating a cell's behavior would be to turn genes on or off.
But effectively targeting a particular gene within a chromosome is a laborious
process, and it is not even currently feasible for some genes. So researchers
are studying a variety of other strategies they hope will achieve the same
Hampton T. With RNA Interference, Silence Is Golden. JAMA. 2004;291(23):2803-2804. doi:10.1001/jama.291.23.2803