“An international consortium has released an analysis of unprecedented detail showing the genes and proteins that guide an immature cell to its final identity.
The models show that a complex network of transcription factors is responsible for a cell’s differentiation, with no one ‘master regulator’ in control. “It’s like a transcription-factor democracy,” says Harmen Bussemaker, a computational biologist at Columbia University in New York. From an evolutionary standpoint, distributing responsibility is a good strategy, he says: “It would not be a good design principle to have an Achilles’ heel.”
(Don’t they mean “From a design standpoint”?)
Piero Carninci of Japan’s Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), in Yokohama found that RNA is produced from retrotransposon sequences in a highly regulated manner that varies among different cell stages and types3 Carninci says studies are under way to determine what function these transposons may have.”
(Yet another bit of junk DNA is found not to be such?)