Air is an invisible gas as are hydrogen and helium. How can you tell if a balloon contains hydrogen? Hydrogen has particular physical and chemical properties that can be tested. Dr. Cech enlists student volunteers to show how a chemical reaction can be used to identify a substance.
Without an appropriate catalyst some chemical reactions would be so slow as to appear not to occur at all on the human timescale. However, when catalyzed, these reactions can be very dramatic.
HHMI President Dr. Thomas Cech discusses the path he took to become a scientist and his reaction to receiving the Nobel Prize.
Dr. Cech uses a penny and a beaker of acetone to illustrate how a catalyst works.
In four lectures, Nobel laureate Thomas R. Cech, PhD, discusses the ability of RNA to act as more than just an intermediary between DNA and proteins.
Cellular enzymes are catalysts that tame reactions by accelerating them, lending specificity, and regulating their time and place.
Discovery of RNA's catalytic activity led to unexpected spin-offs, including a new scenario for the origin of life.
Studies of RNA catalytic centers have revealed much about their structure and mode of action.
The chromosome ends, or telomeres, are necessary for DNA stability and replication.
RNA interference is an exciting new research tool for shutting down genes. It could also yield new medical treatments.
This mini-lesson covers the research on telomeres that has happened since the 1995 Holiday Lectures.
Since RNA is single-stranded, it can fold upon itself and form structures that are protein-like in both appearance and functionality.
Listen to past HHMI President Dr. Thomas Cech discussing his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of RNA's catalytic properties.
RNA is an information molecule that can also function as an enzyme. Learn about the many different forms that RNA can take.