Selfish DNA Holding us Back?
Oregon State University recently carried out a biological research on a kind of nematode namely, Caenorhabditis briggsae. During their research, scientists accidentally stumbled across a mitochondria DNA type, Selfish DNA. This DNA is involved in harming the organism and lessening its chances of survival. The discovery was so startling that at first scientists thought it was a laboratory error. The reason behind this is that this mitochondrial DNA has never-before been found in animals; it mainly occurs in plants.
Another, feature of this DNA is that its defects are similar to those that are caused by decayed mitochondrial DNA in humans which accumulates as a person ages.
DNA is a highly important component of organisms. It codes for all the cellular functions and is also found in the mitochondria which are known as the Power House of Cells. However, the ‘selfish’ DNA is harmful and has separate qualities. It divides faster and often affects the organism’s reproduction. In plants it is seen to stop plants from flowering and makes them sterile.
The ‘selfish’ DNA has no good qualities in it but despite this, natural selection has not been able to remove it from over thousands of years. This shows that our biological progress is not as reliable as we believe it to be.
All this information was published in a journal by the name of, PLoS One. The presence of ‘selfish’ DNA in humans has opened new gates in biotechnological research. Scientists believe it is now possible that the knowledge regarding this DNA helps us to understand the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction. It may serve as a tool with which we can study the aging process and discover the hidden realms of the animal body.
source Science Daily