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Researchers in Scotland have discovered that retrotransposons, a type of gene that inserts itself into other parts of the human genome, are able to continue inserting copies of themselves into the genetic structure of brain cells over the course a person’s entire lifetime. The result is, as Geoffrey Faulkner and his team describe in their article published in Nature, brain cells that are genetically different from other cells in the body and even from one another.
Retrotransposons, are mobile genetic structures, molecules in essence, that make copies of themselves which they somehow inject into other parts of the DNA structure in certain cells. They are believed to make up some forty percent of the entire human genome. The reason they are important is because they result in changes to the genome of some cells, which means those cells are genetically altered, which means they are genetically different from all other cells in body. What’s not known is if this process has some positive healthy effects, or if it’s behind many of the neurological disorders that adversely impact the brain.
... Adding fuel to that fire were retrotransposons found in cells that regulate proteins in the brain which of course have been linked to all manner of psychiatric ailments such as schizophrenia.
They also found a lot more copying went on in the hippocampus then in the caudate nucleus, something that could lead to speculation regarding the nature of memory and learning in general if the cells in that part of the brain have individualized DNA structures.
Originally posted by ModernAcademia
Sounds like either a virus, a defense mechanism or object oriented programming.
This can raise a few questions
1) Ok, i'll have to go into conspiracy mode here. Is it possible that a foreign entitty(I mean aliens here) have put a template in our genome that gets copied everytime to disallow us to have capabilities that they didn't want us to have? Far fetched ya i know
2) Is it a virus?
3) A defense mechanism to ensure that evolutionary traits do not get lost, a part of our evolutionary immune system?
4) Anyone who uses SQL Server for example knows that a Model database is created for every group that is used as a template for future database creations, or re-use and polymorphism in object oriented programming.
That's the first thing that struck me when reading this article
Whatever it is, it seems that 1, 2 and 3 are all pertinant to 4.
The 35S promoter, derived from the common plant virus, cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV), is a component of transgenic constructs in more than 80% of genetically modified (GM) plants. Alarming reports have suggested that the 35S promoter might cause accidental activation of plant genes or endogenous viruses, promote horizontal gene transfer, or might even recombine with mammalian viruses such as HIV, with unexpected consequences. In this article, we discuss the properties of CaMV and the 35S promoter and the potential risks associated with the use of the promoter in GM plants, concluding that any risks are no greater than those encountered in conventional plant breeding
Blood Protein from Rice
Scientists genetically engineer rice to produce a safe, pure, and much-needed human plasma protein.
....plasma protein, human serum albumin (HSA), can now be produced at high yield and purity in rice, according to a report published today (October 31) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using the rice-derived protein in place of its blood-derived counterpart will not only ease demand but also eliminate the risk of spreading diseases.
2000 - The dynamic genome is a concept associated with the discovery of transposable elements by Barbara McClintock. Her Nobel lecture (in 1983) concluded with a challenge to biologists considering this issue (1). She wrote,
We know about the components of genomes that could be made available for such restructuring. We know noth-ing, however, about how the cell senses danger and instigates responses to it that are often truly remarkable. (ref. 1, pp. 800–801)
Retrotransposon-mediated genome evolution on a local ecological scale
Notwithstanding the number of re- maining issues, the study of Kalendar et al. provides perhaps the best example yet of the dynamic nature of plant genome evolution on a local ecological scale, and hints at retrotransposon-mediated adap- tive evolution. In this regard, the authors have taken the first significant step toward addressing McClintock’s challenge to figure out how cells restructure their genomes in response to perceived danger.
2003 - The Gems of "Junk" DNA
IT WILL TAKE YEARS, perhaps decades, to construct a detailed theory that explains how DNA, RNA and the epigenetic machinery all fit into an interlocking, self-regulating system. But there is no longer any doubt that a new theory is needed to replace the central dogma that has been the foundation of molecular genetics and biotechnology since the 1950s.
The central dogma, as usually stated, is quite simple: DNA makes RNA, RNA makes protein, and proteins do almost all the real work of biology. The idea is that information is stored in the twisted ladders of DNA, specifically in the chemical bases (commonly labeled ATG and C) that pair up to form the rungs of the ladders. A gene is just a particular sequence of bases on one side of the ladder that specifies a protein.
The dogma holds that genes express themselves as proteins…
2011, Wikipedia - pseudogenes are generally thought of as the last stop for genomic material that is to be removed from the genome, they are often labeled as junk DNA. [ed. Wrong.]