Findings illuminate how junk DNA accumulates in the human genome
In experiments with transgenic mice, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers discovered the remaining steps in the complicated process of how the largest class of jumping genes replicates and inserts themselves within the human genome. Haig H. Kazazian, Jr. MD, Chair of the Department of Genetics, and colleagues at Penn published their findings in the February issue of Genome Research. This knowledge may shed light on the origins of "junk" DNA, parts of the genome for which no function has yet been discovered.
Jumping genes–also called mobile DNA or transposons–are sequences of DNA that can move or jump to different areas of the genome within the same cell. They are a rare cause of several genetic diseases, such as hemophilia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Karen Kreeger | EurekAlert!
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