blind mole rat
Blind Mole Rats Use Junk DNA to Combat Cancer
Activation of retrotransposons in the animals’ cancerous cells sets off an innate immune response that triggers cell death.
ABOVE: University of Rochester
Blind Mole Rats Use Junk DNA to Combat Cancer
Blind Mole Rats Use Junk DNA to Combat Cancer

Activation of retrotransposons in the animals’ cancerous cells sets off an innate immune response that triggers cell death.

Activation of retrotransposons in the animals’ cancerous cells sets off an innate immune response that triggers cell death.

ABOVE: University of Rochester
retrotransposon
close-up of a retina showing blood vessels and a damaged spot
DNA in Cell Cytoplasm Implicated in Age-Related Blindness
Katarina Zimmer | Sep 29, 2021
A new study suggests that DNA synthesized in the cell cytoplasm drives retinal cell death in an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
retina atrophic age-related macular degeneration amd alu line-1 l1 retrotransposon cytoplasm cdna reverse transcription replication genome dna
Human Cells Can Synthesize DNA in Their Cytoplasm
Alejandra Manjarrez | Feb 8, 2021
While studying a degenerative eye disease, researchers find the first evidence that cells produce endogenous DNA in the cytoplasm. Drugs that block this activity are linked with reduced risk of atrophic age-related macular degeneration.
Mouse Moms’ Behavior Affects Pups’ Genome Structures
Abby Olena | Mar 22, 2018
Mice who get less attention from their mothers have more copies of a common retrotransposon in the genomes of their hippocampal neurons.
Advancing Techniques Reveal the Brain’s Impressive Diversity
Sara B. Linker, Fred H. Gage, Tracy A. Bedrosian | Nov 1, 2017
No two neurons are alike. What does that mean for brain function?
Infographic: Understanding Our Diverse Brain
Fred H. Gage, Tracy A. Bedrosian, Sara B. Linker | Oct 31, 2017
Recent advances in single-cell omics and other techniques are revealing variation at genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and posttranscriptomic levels.
RNA Protects “Naked” Genomes from Retrotransposons
Shawna Williams | Jun 30, 2017
Transfer RNA fragments prevent jumping genes from hopping around in the mouse embryo, when histone methylation can’t do the job.
Sequencing Reveals Genomic Diversity of the Human Brain
Ben Andrew Henry | Sep 16, 2016
Researchers examine the role of long interspersed element-1 retrotransposition in neuronal mosaicism.
Clyde A. Hutchison III: Genome Sequencer and Synthetic Biologist
Anna Azvolinsky | Aug 1, 2016
From sequencing bacteriophages to synthesizing bacterial genomes to defining a minimal genome
Tethering Transposons
Ruth Williams | Oct 15, 2015
Panoramix, a newly identified transcription repressor, takes the bounce out of jumping genes.
Wrangling Retrotransposons
Andrei Seluanov, Michael Van Meter, Vera Gorbunova | Mar 1, 2015
These mobile genetic elements can wreak havoc on the genome. Researchers are now trying to understand how such activity contributes to the aging process.
Schizophrenia’s Jumping Genetics
Jef Akst | Jan 6, 2014
Researchers find evidence that transposable elements, also known as jumping genes, may contribute to the development of the psychiatric disorder.
DNA Jumps Between Vertebrates
Dan Cossins | Jan 3, 2013
Scientists show that horizontal transfer of a particular DNA sequence among a diverse range of vertebrates is more widespread than previously believed.
Brain Mosaic
Sabrina Richards | Jul 1, 2012
Retrotransposons contribute to genetic variability in human brain cells.
Jumping Genes a Cause of Cancer?
Ruth Williams | Jun 28, 2012
Genome sequence analysis confirms mobile genetic elements are a mutagenic mechanism in a variety of cancers.
Mobile DNA Makes Transcription Stumble
Sabrina Richards | Feb 27, 2012
Researchers show that retrotransposons can influence phenotypic variation by triggering early transcription termination.