SIROCCO is an FP6 Integrated Project that studies the phenomenon of RNA silencing in eukaryotic organisms. Together with Andrew Hamilton, Professor Baulcombe discovered the small interfering RNA that is the specificity determinant in RNA-mediated gene silencing and helped to unravel the importance of small interfering RNA in defence against viruses and in epigenetics. British honours are awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service. Nominees are submitted to Queen Elizabeth who formally approves the list of recipients. The honour of knighthood comes from the days of medieval chivalry, as does the method used to confer the knighthood: the accolade, or the touch of a sword by the Sovereign.
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