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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

"Jumping genes": Real-time transposon activity in living cells

“Jumping genes” are ubiquitous. Every domain of life hosts these sequences of DNA that can “jump” from one position to another along a chromosome; in fact, nearly half the human genome is made up of jumping genes. Depending on their specific excision and insertion points, jumping genes can interrupt or trigger gene expression, driving genetic mutation and contributing to cell diversification.

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