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Natural GMOs Part 270. This Jumping Gene Spreads Through Marine Animals' DNA - The Atlantic

18:54 EDT 16 Apr 2018 | GMO pundit

Ed Yong has dunnit again. An article with the second-best headline ever written:

The Shellfish Gene.

In the late 1970s, scientists noticed that soft-shell clams from Maine were dying from a strange kind of leukemia. Large, cannonball-shaped cancer cells would fill their blood, turning it milky white, and eventually fatally clogging the mollusks’ organs.
For almost 40 years, scientists struggled to work out what was causing the cancer. But once they noticed that the disease seemed to spread from infected clams to uninfected ones, they suspected that a virus might be involved. That’s when Stephen Goff from Columbia University, who studies viruses that cause leukemia in mice, got a call.
He couldn’t find any viruses in the affected mollusks. Instead, his team discovered that the leukemia was associated with a new gene, which they called Steamer. It’s a retrotransposon—a jumping gene that can make copies of itself and paste those facsimiles elsewhere in the clam’s genome. Healthy clams have between two and 10 copies of Steamer in their DNA. But the cancer-afflicted ones had between 150 and 300 copies...


This Jumping Gene Spreads Through Marine Animals' DNA - The Atlantic:




Original Article: Natural GMOs Part 270. This Jumping Gene Spreads Through Marine Animals' DNA - The Atlantic

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