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Thread: What exactly are transposons?

  1. #1 What exactly are transposons? 
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    I never really understood this concept. What's there purpose? Is it just a way for mutations to occur? How exactly do they jump around? Are they used so that one can have many genese to code a protien?


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  3. #2  
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    Does it help if you think about them as being somewhat analogous to viruses?


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  4. #3  
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    yes i suppose. However viruses are supposed to harm us while transposons are supposed to help us.
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  5. #4  
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    Viruses have a bad reputation, 'cause the troublemakers stand out. They do better helping us or at least waging their turf wars without destroying much.

    I'm unconvinced that a normal, healthy organism (including humans) is genetically static.
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  6. #5 Re: What exactly are transposons? 
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeptuneCircle
    I never really understood this concept. What's there purpose? Is it just a way for mutations to occur? How exactly do they jump around? Are they used so that one can have many genese to code a protien?
    i doubt whether they actually have a purpose - they're just the result of faulty replication and/or viral attack
    just because it can have the side effect of causing mutations does not mean that's their purpose
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Nothing in nature has a purpose.

    Lots of things fulfil a function.

    A whole load of shit just does stuff.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
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  8. #7  
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    Here is a manageable article. The last section is titled "The Origin of Transposons and Methylation" and may be helpful.

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/97/13/7002.pdf
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