Cell Genetic Elements Of The Field Of Genetics And Model Organisms Essay examples

Cell Genetic Elements Of The Field Of Genetics And Model Organisms Essay examples

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Model organisms have long held a special place in the heart of most researchers. Easily accessible these organisms propagate without difficulty while providing ease of maintenance. Advances in the field of genetics and model organisms are synonymous. In the specific case of Mobile genetic elements (MGE), Zea mays (maize), proved to be the model organism which allowed one very astute Scientist to notice something revolutionary. At the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, while investigating the role broken chromosomes play in providing maize with a mosaic pattern, Barbara McClintock identified something else entirely. “The Barbara McClintock Papers” explain her discovery: “Among the plants she grew that summer, she found two new genetic loci that she named "Dissociator" (Ds) and "Activator" (Ac). Contrary to its name, Dissociator did not merely dissociate, or break, the chromosome. It turned out to have a variety of effects on neighboring genes, but only when Activator was also present. In early 1948, she made the surprising discovery that both Dissociator and Activator could transpose, or change position on the chromosome. These were not ordinary genes--in fact, to McClintock, they were not genes at all, they were gene controllers. Between 1948 and 1950, she developed a theory by which these movable elements regulated the genes by selectively inhibiting or modulating their action. She referred to Dissociator and Activator as "controlling units"--later, as "controlling elements"--in order to distinguish them from genes.” Her observations contested the widely accepted convention that genes were in a fixed position on a chromosome. Her findings, dismissed at the time, would ultimately prove to be factual as science and technolo...

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...the human genome is something known as an Alu element. A quick wiki search will reveal that with more than a million Alu elements sprinkled throughout, this element serves as the “most abundant transposable element” in the human genome, about 10.7%. These active TEs can cause numerous problems. The textbook Essentials of Genetics provides several cases of the diseases caused by these Alu elements. For example an Alu element inserted into certain genes have been proven to cause: familial breast cancer (BRCA2 gene), hemophilia B (factor IX gene), acholinesterasemia (ChE gene), and neurofibromatosis (NF1 gene). “It is thought that about 0.2 percent of detectible human mutations may be due to transposable element insertions…About 10 percent of new mouse mutations and 50 percent of Drosophila are cause by insertions of transposable elements in or near genes” (Klug 276).

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