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Researchers: Reproductive stem cells have system to fight off jumping genes

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Reproductive stem cells use a novel adaptive response/ Zhao Zheng, Carnegie Institution for Science

Whose triumph would create “catastrophic genomic instability”:

Since Carnegie Institution’s Barbara McClintock received her Nobel Prize on her discovery of jumping genes in 1983, we have learned that almost half of our DNA is made up of jumping genes—called transposons. Given their ability of jumping around the genome in developing sperm and egg cells, their invasion triggers DNA damage and mutations. This often leads to animal sterility or even death, threatening species survival. The high abundance of jumping genes implies that organisms have survived millions, if not billions, of transposon invasions. However, little is known about where this adaptability comes from. Now, a team of Carnegie researchers has discovered that, upon jumping gene invasion, reproductive stem cells boost production of non-coding RNA elements (piRNA) that suppress their activity and activates a DNA repair process allowing for normal egg development. The results are published in the November 1, 2018, issue of Developmental Cell. Caarnegie Institution for Science, “How invading jumping genes are thwarted” at Phys.org

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Funny, life forms are just like a pile of rocks. Leave it there for a few billion years and it randomly develops all these complex systems.

Of course, jumping genes can play different roles and sometimes be helpful:

See also: Jumping genes drive changes in strawberries

Researchers: Jumping genes time their activity, await opportunity


Researchers: Jumping genes play extensive role in human evolution

Jumping genes are preadapted stretches of DNA that aid evolution to escape the limitations of darwinian gradualism. So yet another case of evolution evolving an anti-evoluton strategy. Mung

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