RNA traveling from blood to brain

I’m going to try to start blogging regularly about some of the cool papers that I read. Today’s paper is about a newly discovered way that the immune system can affect neurons during inflammation. Immune system cells can send RNA molecules to the brain! It’s not yet clear what impact those RNAs have, but the idea that RNA can travel between cells is still quite new, and I think very exciting.

Stefan Momma’s group wanted to better understand what happens in the brain during inflammation. Others have reported that the immune system can somehow pass on genetic material to neurons, possibly through the cells fusing to each other. Momma’s group wanted to learn more about how the genetic material was transferred.  Continue reading