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NUMTs

Page history last edited by langolier 10 years, 7 months ago

by: Jonathan Day <imipak@yahoo.com>

 

NUMTs are a section of DNA that started off in the Mitochondrial DNA and ended up in the Nucleic DNA.

(For programmers, NUMTs are inlined functions.)

 

Is it important? Only if it was a piece of mtDNA you cared about in the first place.

 

If it's a piece of mtDNA that can tell you something about deep ancestry, then knowing that it's no longer found in the mtDNA but is now found somewhere else tells you something about the deep ancestry of modern humans.

 

If it's a piece of mtDNA where its function in mtDNA is known and understood, again knowing where it is found in modern humans is useful because you can usefully make comparisons between humans where this section of DNA has mutated.

 

If it's a piece that's not understood and cannot be related to anything, then the fact that it has moved from one type of DNA to another isn't significant to anyone other than geneticists studying such stuff and scientists studying microbiology on an evolutionary timescale. Cells are packed with organelles where DNA once was that has now ended up in the nucleus. For the purpose of ancestry or diagnosis, there is no particular significance or importance where something originated in the cell, it's only important that it can be linked to something you want to measure.

 

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