These days, whenever researchers want to rewrite the way genes work inside a living organism, they often use one or another kind of RNA molecule to get the job done. As part of Scientific American’s annual look at “The Future of Medicine,” my colleagues Dina Fine Maron, Ferris Jabr and I examine a few of the possibilities for new RNA therapies that physicians may one day use to treat hepatitis C, Ebola virus infection and various immune disorders.

Check out our report, “How RNA Discoveries Are Radically Changing Gene Therapy and Other Medical Treatments,” which appears in the April Scientific American, for more details.To get a better visual sense of exactly how one group of RNA molecules can affect the way genes work, watch the following animation, created by Arkitek Studios for Nature Reviews Genetics. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)