Edited RNA + invasive DNA add individuality

The eyes have it

Fly eye color varies based on the level of RNA editing. Red eyes, left, suggest a lot of editing, while white eyes suggest little. Credit: Reenan lab/Brown University

A study in Nature Communications finds that an enzyme that edits RNA may loosen the genome’s control over invasive snippets of DNA that affect how genes are expressed. In fruit flies, that newly understood mechanism appears to contribute to differences among individuals such as eye color and life span.