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Jumping Genes Could Help Unlock The Mystery Of Emergence Of Life

The scientists seem to have missed out on the certain interaction between the genome which must have been the possible drive for the emergence of life that took place billions of years back. Such a thought began immediately after the finding of the retrotransposons which can also be referred to as the jumping genes which are actually the sequences present in DNA that can copy and paste themselves along the genome at a faster phase. The humans have genomes filled with them which on the other hand are rarely present in the bacterial genome.

Researchers Thomas Kuhlman from the University of California and Nigel Goldenfeld from the University of Illinois and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology have taken out a single retrotransposon from the genome and placed it in the bacterial DNA so as to study the changes and characteristic factors taking place. The copying feature of the retrotransposons within a genome takes place at a specific location on the genome which it cut opens followed by it repairing so as to survive. In E. Coli the repairing of the cuts takes place by removing the new retrotransposon whereas in eukaryotes the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) process helps repair the DNA cuts. The idea of giving the bacteria the ability to perform NHEJ for the repair purpose instead worsened the damage by increasing the multiplication rate.

The researchers then started focusing on the interaction between retrotransposons and NHEJ for a better understanding of how NHEJ bosses the retrotransposons multiplication rate. The eukaryotic DNA along with numerous retrotransposons has many junk DNA matter as well.  The junk DNA and the interactions seen give the genome the power to survive. The splicesosomes construct genes back to normal, and group II introns, primary version of retrotransposons, are also being studied.  The researchers assure that the group II introns came into existence first from the ancestral introns followed by the others. Only the laboratory evolution can help become a time machine reading the happenings of billions of years ago. As per the recent study funded by Calico Life Sciences, the longer lifespan concept runs through the genes in a family which tags it to be an inheritable factor. The researcher Graham Ruby is trying to relate it to all the genetic and nongenetic matter to find out the relativity of the theory.