The experimental introduction of exogenous single- or double-stranded RNA (ds RNA) molecules into a cell or an embryo, which results in a phenotypic change that is transient in nature (i.e., is not stably inherited). Transfection of cells with a specific messenger RNA (mRNA) (q.v.) can be used to express a particular protein, whereas transfection with certain single- or ds RNA molecules can produce RNA interference (q.v.). RNA transfection can be achieved through a number of methods, including microinjection (q.v.), electroporation (q.v.), the use of viral vectors, and the use of liposomes (q.v.). Furthermore, in C. elegans, RNA transfection (and resulting RNA interference) can be achieved by soaking the animals with ds RNA or feeding them E. coli cells which express ds RNA.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.