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This book thoroughly reviews our current scientific understanding of the significant role that mobile genetic elements play in the evolution and function of genomes and organisms–from plants and animals to humans. Highly-regarded geneticist Haig Kazazian offers an accessible intellectual history of the field’s research strategies and concerns, explaining how advances opened up new questions, and how new tools and capabilities have encouraged progress in the field.
Kazazian introduces the key strategies and approaches taken in leading laboratories (including his own) to gain greater insight into the large proportion of our genome that derives from mobile genetic elements, including viruses, plasmids, and transposons. He also presents intriguing insights into long-term research strategies that may lead to an even deeper understanding.
Preface: Thoughts on Doing Science xii
Chapter 1 Introduction to Mobile DNA 1
Chapter 2 Varieties of Mobile DNA 5
Chapter 3 DNA Transposons 19
Chapter 4 Mobile DNA of Model Organisms 29
Chapter 5 Exceptional Scientists Working on Mobile DNA in Lower Organisms 35
Chapter 6 Role of Bioinformatics in Genome Analysis 43
Chapter 7 The Prologue 49
Chapter 8 “Welcome to the Wonderful World of LINEs” 59
Chapter 9 An Experimental Breakthrough 73
Chapter 10 Reverse Transcriptase to the Rescue 81
Chapter 11 A Quirk of L1 Elements–A Lousy 3’ End Is Important for Genome Evolution 85
Chapter 12 A Tour de Force from Tom Eickbush 89
Chapter 13 “I don’t believe all those colonies represent retrotransposition events.” 93
Chapter 14 L1 Encodes an Endonuclease 101
Chapter 15 The Jocks 105
Chapter 16 The Mayor and the Frenchman 115
Chapter 17 Ostertag’s Coups 121
Chapter 18 The Independent Canadian 133
Chapter 19 The Musician Scientist 141
Chapter 20 Young Ladies in the Back Bay 145
Chapter 21 The Brilliant Young Lady from China 157
Chapter 22 Hiroki’s Big Surprises 163
Chapter 23 A Young Man with a Purpose 173
Chapter 24 Other Mobile DNA in Mammalian Genomes 179
Chapter 25 Effects of Retrotransposons on Mammalian Genomes 187
Chapter 26 Host Factors Involved in L1 Retrotransposition 201
Chapter 27 Why Mobile DNA? 207
Chapter 28 The Future of Mobile DNA Research 209
Chapter 29 Predictions for Mobile DNA 221