Europhys. Lett, 36 (5), pp. 391-396 (1996)
Language-like features in DNA: transposable element footprints in the genome
G. S. Attard, A. C. Hurworth and J. P. Jack
Department of Chemistry, University of Southampton - Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
(received 15 July 1996; accepted 19 September 1996)
PACS. 87.10 - General, theoretical, and mathematical biophysics
(including logic of biosystems, quantum biology, and
relevant aspects of thermodynamics, information theory, cybernetics, and
PACS. 05.40 - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, and Brownian motion.
PACS. 72.70 - Noise processes and phenomena.
Abstract:The observation of language-like features in non-coding DNA has led to suggestions that "junk'' DNA could have higher-order functions, possibly associated with controlling gene expression. We propose a physically realistic model which provides an insight into the possible origin of these language-like features. The physical basis of the model is the accumulation of target site duplications produced by multiple insertions of transposable elements at specific nucleotide sequences, followed by precise excision of these elements.
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