Biology of an Unthinkable World

Transposons, small DNA fragments or sometimes
virus like particles are fascinating research objects
in evolutionary and molecular biology. Due to their
parasitic lifestyle they would present excellent material
for science fiction stories, but they also actually
constitute a big portion of how we evolved as
a biological species and maybe by modulating the
genomes of single neurons in our brains even of
what we can sense, feel and think.

Transposons are probably an emerging property of
complex, multicellular life. They provide raw material
for evolution to work on, contribute to the regulation
of genetic activity, help central nervous systems
reaching higher complexities by orchestrating
the diversity of neurons and help immune systems to
become adaptive. At the same time they are the ultimate
molecular endo-parasites seemingly of direct
bio-punk origin.

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Biology of an Unthinkable World
June 26, 2017