Party discipline for jumping genes

Jumping genes, transposons, are part of the genome of most organisms, aggregated into families and can damage the genome by jumping. How hosts suppress the jumping is well investigated. Why they still can jump has hardly ...

A small piece of DNA with a large effect on leaf shape

Millions of years ago, some plants in the mustard family made the switch from simple leaves to complex leaves through two tiny tweaks to a single gene. One tweak to a small enhancer sequence gave the gene a new domain of ...

How the pangolin got its scales – a genetic just-so story

Everyone loves animal oddities. Darwin and Lamarck pondered the advantages of the giraffe's long legs and neck, while a few decades later Rudyard Kipling explained how the leopard got its spots. Today genome sequencing is ...

Is nature mostly a tinkerer or an inventor?

The Krüppel-like factor and specificity protein (KLF/SP) genes are found across many species, ranging from single cell organisms to humans. This gene family has been conserved during evolution, because it plays a vital role ...

Genes tell story of birdsong and human speech

His office is filled with all sorts of bird books, but Duke neuroscientist Erich Jarvis didn't become an expert on the avian family tree because of any particular interest in our feathered friends. Rather, it was his fascination ...

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