Presented is a review of the discovery and characterization of the Neurospora Varkud satellite ribozyme. It outlines the approaches and observations that have led to our current level of understanding of the structure and function of this ribozyme, and highlights its distinctive features compared with other naturally occurring small ribozymes.

Ribozymes and RNA Catalysis: Focused Meeting Organized by D. M. J. Lilley (Department of Biochemistry, University of Dundee) and F. Eckstein (Max-Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany), Edited by J. M. Wrigglesworth (Division of Life Sciences, King's College London), Sponsored by EMBO (the Major Sponsor), The Biochemical Society, Transgenomic, Glen Research, Proligo, RPI, Qiagen, Dharmacon Research, Nasca Cell, Ribopharma and The RNA Society, and held at West Park Centre, University of Dundee, 23–27 August 2002

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