Latest Retrotransposon Stories
New research from the University of California, Santa Cruz has revealed that two sets of primate genes have been battling it out over the millennia and this conflict has driven the complexity of primate genomes.
Stretches of DNA called retrotransposons, often dubbed "junk DNA", might play an important role in schizophrenia.
Steve Moose, an associate professor of maize functional genomics at the University of Illinois and his graduate student Wes Barber think they may have discovered a new source of heterosis, or hybrid vigor, in maize.
Dr. Zsuzsanna Izsvák, research group leader at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, has been named recipient of a European Research Council (ERC Advanced) grant worth EUR 1.94 million for her research on "jumping genes" (transposons).
Small, mobile sequences of DNA left over from viruses, called transposons or "jumping genes" because of their ability to move around the genome, pose a significant threat to the genetic integrity and stability of an organism.
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 â€“ also called "jumping genes" â€“ that copy and insert themselves into other areas of the 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.
Finding has new implications for understanding genetic diseases.
Using high-throughput sequencing to map the locations of a common type of jumping gene within a person's entire genome, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found extensive variation in these locations among the individuals they studied, further underscoring the role of these errant genes in maintaining genetic diversity.
Genetic variation due to DNA mutation is a driving force of adaptation and evolution, as well as a contributing factor to disease.
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