Science Education

Formerly known as European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences

Our inspiring educational experiences share the scientific discoveries of EMBL with young learners aged 10-19 years and teachers in Europe and beyond. We belong to EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement office.

EMBL Insight Lecture 2020


The EMBL Insight Lecture 2020 on “Discover RNA – the language of genomes” was presented by Professor Matthias W. Hentze, EMBL Senior Scientist and Director, on 11 December 2020.

DNA is perhaps the most famous biological molecule, serving as storage of all the information required for an organism to live and multiply. To be effective at its job, the DNA molecule must be very stable and, as such, is not very dynamic. Ribonucleic acid (RNA), the less well-known sister of DNA, on the other hand, lives a very different, dynamic and versatile life. As RNA is copied from the DNA genome, scientists sometimes describe it as the active language in which genomes express themselves.

In the EMBL Insight Lecture 2020, Prof. Matthias W. Hentze started by introducing RNA as we know it from the textbooks. He then discussed ‘hot topics’ in current research and open questions scientists in the field of RNA research are working on. In doing so, Prof. Hentze highlighted the importance of RNA-binding proteins as RNA’s versatile companions. He described new functions of RNA that have not yet entered the biology textbooks and showed how brand-new scientific discoveries can sometimes be obvious only in hindsight.

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The EMBL Insight Lecture is available via on-demand-streaming from this website. You can watch it directly in the window below. Alternatively, you can open the EMBL Insight Lecture here.

Topic area:  Genome biology

Age group:  16-19