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Evolution of The Anit-viral Oligo-adenylate Synthetases

Friday, April 26, 2013, from 1:10pm to 2:00pm
Leon Johnson Hall, Room 346

Please join the Department of Microbiology in presenting a Seminar by Dr. Stéphane Boissinot, Associate Professor at Queens College, CUNY.

Dr. Stéphane Boissinot laboratory is conducting research on the evolution of mammalian transposable elements (mostly in rodents and primates) and on the impact the activity of transposable elements has had on the structure and function of mammalian genomes.

L1 (LINE-1) elements constitute the major family of transposable elements in mammalian genomes. They are called retrotransposons because they replicate by copying their RNA transcript into DNA, which inserts into the host genome. L1 elements have been replicating and evolving in mammalian genomes since before the mammalian radiation, ~100 million years ago. The human genome contains at least 500,000 L1 elements that account for ~17% of its mass. In addition, the replicative machinery encoded by L1 can act on other transcripts and is believed to be responsible for the amplification of the SINEs elements (such as the Alu family in primates) that account for another ~13% of the genome. Altogether, L1 activity is responsible for more than 35% of the total DNA present in our genome.

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