ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) â€” One way of discovering a gene's function is to switch it off and observe how the loss of its activity affects an organism. If a gene is essential for survival, however, then switching it off permanently will kill the organism before the gene's function can be determined. Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have overcome this problem by using RNA interference (RNAi) technology to temporarily turn off any essential gene in adult mice and then turn it back on before the change kills the animals.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Non-lethal way of switching off essential genes in mice perfected." ScienceDaily, 14 Apr. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2011.