Have you ever wondered at the uniqueness of every individual around you? Including yourself. Even identical twins that have the same set of genes and have grown up together differ in some of their characteristics and personality. This brings up the old question of nature/ nurture. Recent research findings show that the answer may lie in certain type of DNA within a class called Mobile Genetic Elements (MGE). More specifically, the ones found moving in the brain are called Retratransposons.
|Transposon events cause the mosaicism|
seen in the color of corn kernels.
|During the early stages of human nervous system development LINE-1 elements become active (indicated by green flourescence) possibly affecting neuronal function.|
This is a potential mechanism to create the neural diversity that makes each person unique." Thus, this also makes humans “true chimeras”.
Retratransposons have garnered increased interest due to research showing that L1 insertions play a part in neurological and psychiatric conditions. Although further research is required to be carried out, this is a field that holds many promises and discoveries especially since up to 50% of the human DNA is made up of Mobile Elements.