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Latest Transposon Stories

7eeaa24bcef21fb212072c09e230c7121
2008-11-28 12:01:13

A class of small RNAs inherited from the mother determines offspring's fertility trait Hereditary information flows from parents to offspring not just through DNA but also through the millions of proteins and other molecules that cling to it. These modifications of DNA, known as "epigenetic marks," act both as a switch and a dial "“ they can determine which genes should be turned on or off, and how much message an "on" gene should produce. One way in which epigenetic information is...

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2008-11-05 11:20:00

Helps explain human differences from other species In a paper published in Genome Research on Nov. 4, scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) report that what was previously believed to be "junk" DNA is one of the important ingredients distinguishing humans from other species. More than 50 percent of human DNA has been referred to as "junk" because it consists of copies of nearly identical sequences. A major source of these repeats is internal viruses that have inserted...

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2008-02-25 14:10:00

Iowa State University researchers helped write the first draft of the corn genome sequence that will be announced Thursday, Feb. 28, at the 50th Annual Maize Genetics Conference in Washington, D.C.Patrick Schnable, a Baker Professor of Agronomy and director of the Center for Plant Genomics and the Center for Carbon Capturing Crops, and Srinivas Aluru, a Stanley Chair in Interdisciplinary Engineering and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, led the work at Iowa State and...

2005-08-11 21:35:00

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have harnessed a mobile gene from the cabbage looper moth and modified it for routine use to determine the function of genes in mice and other vertebrates. If the new tool works as they expect, it will speed understanding of genes involved in human biology and disease and accelerate the search for effective new therapies. The researchers report their study in the August 12, 2005, issue of the journal Cell. Certain genes or genetic elements, called...

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2005-08-13 10:14:26

New Haven, Conn. -- A collaborative project between American and Chinese researchers developed a way to study the function of genes in mice and man by using a moveable genetic element from moths, according to a report in the journal Cell. "We know how many genes are in the mammalian genome, but that does not tell us how they carry out their jobs," said senior author Tian Xu, Professor and Vice Chair of Genetics at Yale University School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute...

2005-08-06 15:36:16

WOODS HOLE, MA - A January 2004 finding by biologists at the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution added important evidence to the radical conclusion that a group of diminutive aquatic animals called bdelloid rotifers have evolved for tens of millions of years without sexual reproduction, in apparent violation of the rule that abandonment of sexual reproduction is a biological dead end. Now, MBL scientists are beginning to understand just what's different...

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2005-07-24 18:40:00

In 1909, while harvesting a typical corn crop (Zea mays) in Illinois, a field worker noticed a plant so unusual that it was initially believed to be a new species. Its "peculiarly shaped ear" was "laid aside as a curiosity" and the specimen was designated Zea ramosa (from the Latin ramosus, "having many branches"). Due to the alteration of a single gene, later named ramosa1, both the ear and the tassel of the plant were more highly branched than usual, leading to loose, crooked kernel rows...

2005-07-15 02:30:43

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a new method that could accelerate the way cancer-causing genes are found and could lead to a more accurate identification of the genes, according to two studies in the July 14, 2005, issue of Nature*. The gene identification method was developed in genetically modified mice and utilized a piece of jumping DNA, called Sleeping Beauty....

2005-06-30 13:47:21

BATON ROUGE "“ A group of LSU researchers, led by biological sciences Professor Mark Batzer, have unraveled the details of a 25-million-year-old evolutionary process in the human genome. Their study focused on the origin and spread of transposable elements in the genome, many of which are known to be related to certain genetic disorders, such as hemophilia. "Effectively, we've devised a theory that allows us to explain the origin of about half of all of the human genome," said Batzer....

2005-06-17 10:00:00

Fri., June 17, 2005 "“ Researchers report today that regions of the human genome have been hotspots for acquiring duplicated DNA sequences "“ but only at specific time-points during evolution. It appears that long periods of genomic stasis, at least with regard to the accretion of duplicated DNA fragments, are "punctuated" by relatively brief episodes of duplicative activity. This is the first time that such temporal bias has been documented for DNA duplications, and it challenges...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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