Latest Transposon Stories

2009-05-29 09:51:57

VIB researchers linked to K.U.Leuven and Harvard University show that stretches of DNA previously believed to be useless 'junk' DNA play a vital role in the evolution of our genome. They found that unstable pieces of junk DNA help tuning gene activity and enable organisms to quickly adapt to changes in their environments. The results will be published in the reputed scientific Journal Science. Junk DNA 'Most people do not realize that all our genes only comprise about 3% of the total human...

2009-05-26 13:43:38

U.S. scientists studying the genetics of the pond organism Oxytricha have determined so-called junk DNA might not be so junky after all. The researchers said scientists have long been perplexed by junk DNA -- extensive strands of genetic material that dominate the genome, but seem to lack specific functions. Now researchers from Princeton and Indiana Universities have discovered DNA sequences from regions of what had been viewed as the dispensable genome are actually performing functions...

2009-05-21 09:20:00

Scientists have called it "junk DNA." They have long been perplexed by these extensive strands of genetic material that dominate the genome but seem to lack specific functions. Why would nature force the genome to carry so much excess baggage? Now researchers from Princeton University and Indiana University who have been studying the genome of a pond organism have found that junk DNA may not be so junky after all. They have discovered that DNA sequences from regions of what had been viewed as...

2009-05-05 13:46:40

Flemish scientists say they have developed an improved and safer technique to deliver genes into the body's cells during genetic therapy. Gene therapy is the introduction of genetic material into a patient's cells resulting in a cure or a therapeutic effect, said researchers at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology in Belgium. The success of gene therapy ultimately depends on the gene delivery vehicles, or vectors, and most vectors have been derived from viruses that can be tailor-made to...

2009-05-04 07:14:47

Gene therapy Gene therapy is the introduction of genetic material into a patient's cells resulting in a cure or a therapeutic effect. In recent years, it has been shown that gene therapy is a promising technology to treat or even cure several fatal diseases for which there is no attractive alternative therapy. Gene therapy can be used for hereditary diseases, but also for other diseases that affect heart, brain and even for cancer. Indeed, recent results suggest that gene therapy can be...

2009-04-20 10:33:57

An international consortium of scientists, including researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), have probed further into the human genome than ever before. They have discovered how genes are controlled in mammals, as well as the tiniest genetic element ever found. Their discoveries will be published in three milestone papers in leading journal Nature Genetics. The research was coordinated by the RIKEN Yokohama Omics Science Center in Japan as part of the FANTOM4 consortium, with...

2009-02-09 10:05:00

In the late 1990s the Finnish Yorkshire pig population was threatened by a genetic defect which spread at an alarming rate and led to infertility. The defective KPL2 gene in porcine chromosome 16 caused pig spermatozoa to be short-tailed and immotile. The recessive genetic defect did not cause any other symptoms in the pigs. Research Scientist Anu Sironen of MTT Agrifood Research Finland mapped the defective gene in her doctoral research. Sequence analysis of the candidate gene KPL2 revealed...

2009-02-05 14:47:29

Portuguese scientists' contribution crucial to new study to be published in Cell Scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), in Portugal, are to date the only research group in the world capable of isolating the sperm cells in the pollen grain of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This technique was crucial in a study to be published in the latest issue of the journal Cell, which describes how mobile sequences of DNA (called transposable elements) are...

2009-01-19 11:30:35

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tbingen, Germany, determined the structure of a protein (L1ORF1p), which is encoded by a parasitic genetic element and which is responsible for its mobility. The so-called LINE-1 retrotransposon is a mobile genetic element that can multiply and insert itself into chromosomal DNA at many different locations. This disturbs the genetic code at the site of integration, which can have serious consequences for the organism. On the...

2008-12-03 09:11:32

Discovery an important step in genomics research and quest for better crops Plant researchers from McGill University and the University of California, Berkeley, have announced a major breakthrough in a developmental process called epigenetics. They have demonstrated for the first time the reversal of what is called epigenetic silencing in plants. The findings are important to develop a better understanding of gene regulation in the continuing quest to breed enhanced crops that produce higher...

Word of the Day
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.