Much in the same way as we use shredders to destroy documents that are no longer useful or that contain potentially damaging information, cells use molecular machines to degrade unwanted or defective macromolecules. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, have now shown how the nuclear compartment of the cell uses a specific version of the RNA exosome, a macromolecular machine responsible for the degradation as well as the biogenesis of ribonucleic acids (RNAs). RNAs are ubiquitous and abundant molecules with multiple functions in the cell. One of their functions is, for example, to permit translation of the genomic information into proteins. The study has now been published in the journal Nature.