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Does the villainous 'selfish' gene undermine genome's police?
Date:3/5/2013

ong the next things his group will look into.

In the meantime, he reflects, it may not be entirely fair for biologists to label SD as "selfish" and not Responder as well. As an out-of-control self-repeater in the genome, Responder is surely no prize, and SD performs something of a service by taking it out when it can.

The whole story is really a clash of the selfish. "Humans, flies, all of us have been attacked for millennia by selfish genetic elements that want to make as many copies as possible," Reenan said.

Sometimes, as in SD flies, there are no apparent ill effects, but when the selfish genes come in the form of viruses or other kinds of transposons, there can be trouble. So investigating the tactics of selfish genes is not merely the stuff of biological soap operas.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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