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Latest Mobile genetic elements Stories

What Makes Humans And Chimps Different?
2011-10-26 03:00:27

For years, scientists believed the vast phenotypic differences between humans and chimpanzees would be easily explained — the two species must have significantly different genetic makeups. However, when their genomes were later sequenced, researchers were surprised to learn that the DNA sequences of human and chimpanzee genes are nearly identical. What then is responsible for the many morphological and behavioral differences between the two species? Researchers at the Georgia Institute...

2011-09-26 11:24:59

Genetic parasites invaded the mammalian genome more than 100 million years ago and dramatically changed the way mammals reproduce -- transforming the uterus in the ancestors of humans and other mammals from the production of eggs to a nurturing home for developing young, a new Yale University study has found. The findings published online Sept. 25 in the journal Nature Genetics describe in unprecedented detail the molecular changes that allowed mammals to carry their developing young...

2011-08-30 12:23:50

A team at the Stanford University School of Medicine has cataloged, down to the letter, exactly what parts of the genetic code are essential for survival in one bacterial species, Caulobacter crescentus. They found that 12 percent of the bacteria's genetic material is essential for survival under laboratory conditions. The essential elements included not only protein-coding genes, but also regulatory DNA and, intriguingly, other small DNA segments of unknown function. The other 88 percent...

2011-08-02 19:52:16

For more than a decade, Dr. Susan Rosenberg, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, has solidified her premise that when cells are under stress, the rate of gene changes called mutations goes up, a finding that has implications for a wide variety of biological phenomena "“ from evolution to antibiotic resistance and cancer. In a report that appears online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, she and her colleagues not only show...

2011-03-21 17:01:00

New method for studying gene regulation Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a new method for studying gene regulation, by employing a jumping gene as an informant. Published online today in Nature Genetics, the new method is called GROMIT. It enables researchers to systematically explore the very large part of our genome that does not code for proteins, and which likely plays a large role in making each of us unique, by...

2011-02-10 20:37:40

Presence of 'jumping genes,' amplified oncogenes may be key to tumor progression The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team that first discovered tumor-associated RNA in tiny membrane-enclosed sacs released into the bloodstream by cancer cells has now found that these microvesicles also contain segments of tumor DNA, including retrotransposons "“ also called "jumping genes" "“ that copy and insert themselves into other areas of the genome. The investigators' report,...

2011-02-07 13:47:22

RIPs are alive and well -- and moving -- in the human genome An ambitious hunt by Johns Hopkins scientists for actively "jumping genes" in humans has yielded compelling new evidence that the genome, anything but static, contains numerous pesky mobile elements that may help to explain why people have such a variety of physical traits and disease risks. Using bioinformatics to compare the standard assembly of genetic elements as outlined in the reference human genome to raw whole-genome data...

2010-11-02 12:39:49

A long-standing barrier to successful gene therapy in humans has been the lack of a non-toxic and effective tool or vector to carry the gene into the cell. Now a Baylor College of Medicine researcher and her colleagues think they may have a solution "“ at least in the quest for a way to silence cancer genes. Their invention consists of tiny wound-up circular bits of DNA that carry a short "hairpin" of RNA. The researchers from BCM and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute called...

2010-10-21 14:42:42

Tiny wound-up circular bits of DNA that carry a short "hairpin" of RNA could prove a solution to the quest for a non-toxic, long-lived gene therapy vector designed to silence cancer genes in tumor cells, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Gene Therapy. At a minimum, this Minivectorâ“ž¢ DNA will prove a valuable laboratory tool, said Dr. Lynn...

2010-10-15 01:15:25

Powerful mutation tool identifies new cancer genes Researchers have developed a genetic tool in mice to speed the discovery of novel genes involved in cancer. The system "“ called PiggyBac "“ has already been used by the team to identify novel candidate cancer-causing genes. This new development of the PiggyBac system makes it a powerful addition to the armoury of genetic methods available to researchers for picking apart the genetic causes of cancer. It will complement advances...