WARNING: This post is just a rant against a review article Im too impatient to deal with today. Its really just a rant. heh.
Hey, you know whats even better than having ‘science reporters’ use the term ‘junk DNA’ in their pop-science articles?
A ‘real’ scientist using the term ‘junk DNA’ in their review on LINES/SINES/ERVs.
Retrotransposons Revisited: The Restraint and Rehabilitation of Parasites
Following the discovery of transposons in plants and bacteria, the presence of mobile DNA in eukaryotic species gained widespread acceptance. However, the concept of “controlling elements” gave way to disparaging terms such as selfish DNA and “junk DNA.” Nevertheless, the notion of transposable elements as merely molecular parasites, benign at best and powerful mutagens at worst, that hijack cellular mechanisms for their own selfish propagation, seemed incomplete to some biologists. Given that evolution tends to dispose of that which is useless and harmful for a species, it was curious that the genome should be cluttered with so much “junk.” Now we understand that genomes have coevolved with their transposable elements, devising strategies to prevent them from running amok while coopting function from their presence. Repetitive DNA, and retrotransposons in particular, can drive genome evolution and alter gene expression. Evolution has been adept at turning some “junk” into treasure.
DUH! 1972, man, 1972. 1972 scientist figured that ‘junk DNA’ could be co-opted for ‘treasure’. Shit!
And the fact that we have evolved ways of co-opting (Im sorry, ‘restraining’ and ‘rehabilitating’) genomic parasites doesnt mean they arent genomic parasites. Dude, if I totally stripped all epigenetic modifications from your cells right now, any mobile element that retained the ability to replicate would. Its selfish DNA.
The rest of the review is fine… its just like every other review of LINES/SINES/ERVs, going over pros/cons, evolutionary significance, etc. Other reviews also written by Kazazian 4.5 years ago.
*sigh* The review is fine. Its fine. I just dont have patience to deal with this intro this morning.