Friday, December 15, 2006

Repetitive Elements Round Up

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Categories : Biology, Intelligent Design, Evolution, Front-loading

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published: jeudi 14 décembre 2006 23:01:21

Quite a lot of buzz in the journals these days challenging the views that variations that generate phenotypic differences occur in a more or less random manner and that most, if not all, non-coding DNA has no biological function. More and more evidence shows that genomes are in fact reservoirs of "adaptive phenotypic plasticity". This might go along with the concept of front-loaded evolution which predicts, in my opinion, that adaptive benefits are likely to occur at greater than random frequencies.

Recent findings that the primary source of genome-size variation is in fact repetitive DNA (Brenner et al. 1993; Kidwell 2002) has led to lots of interesting research into the roles and functions of repetitive loci. For example, Biémont & Vieira (2006) and Volff (2006) focus on transposable elements (TEs), and Kashi & King (2006) review the contribution of microsatellite loci.

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