HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ancient "Jumping DNA" May Have Evolved into Key Component of Human Immune System

August 20, 1998-The human immune system, an elegant and intricate biological defense system unmatched in most life forms, may have evolved from a mobile piece of DNA that inserted itself into the mammalian genome more than 450 million years ago.

A team of researchers led by David G. Schatz at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University has found evidence that tiny gene particles vital to the task of producing millions of different kinds of antibodies act like a gene segment that can "jump" into foreign DNA. Although there are many examples of such genes in lower organisms, it is the first cut-and-paste "transposase" ever found in humans.

"This helps explain why the jawed vertebrates are the only species that have a second, adaptive immune system, in addition to the innate immune system that all other species have," says Schatz, an immunologist. His study, conducted with Yale researchers Alka Agrawal and Quinn M. Eastman, is published in the August 20 issue of the journal Nature.

An adaptive immune system relies on two lines of defense to detect and destroy invaders. Both parts of the immune system belong to a class of white blood cells called lymphocytes, found in the blood and lymphoid organs. B lymphocytes produce antibodies that bind tightly to a foreign molecule, inactivating it or marking it for destruction by other cells in the immune system. T lymphocytes detect the presence of foreign molecules inside special "processing" cells once those cells have displayed a fragment of the foreign molecule-those pieces are called antigens-on the processing cell's surface. So-called T-cell receptors on the surface of the T lymphocyte bind strongly to the antigen.

Although they perform different functions, both B and T lymphocytes use the same unique genetic mechanism to economically generate an almost unlimited number of antibodies and T-cell receptors. Indeed, the human immune system is capable of producing a larger number of different ant
'"/>

Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
20-Aug-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Ancient life form may help create newest technologies
2. Ancient brewery discovered on mountaintop in Peru
3. Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices
4. Ancient DNA mutations permitted humans to adapt to colder climates, UCI researchers find
5. Ancient Inca road in desperate need of protection
6. Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of historys most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man
7. Ancient pollen yields insight into forest biodiversity
8. Ancient defense mechanism may still be protecting us
9. Ancient flower fossil points to underwater origins
10. Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
11. Ancient Chinese folk remedy may hold key to non-toxic cancer treatment

Post Your Comments:
(Date:2/5/2015)... 28, 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... Global Online CEO Conference on January 29 th ... Pereira , CEO of NXT-ID will present and host ... Wocket smart wallet and its full suite of biometric ...
(Date:2/5/2015)... , Jan. 30, 2015  It is gratifying ... power and potential for genomic science as a means ... disease prevention and treatment.  I was honored to participate ... government-funded precision medicine program. Since the ... science of genomics—from the first sequenced genome of a ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4trb7t/biometrics_a ) has announced the ... report to their offering. , The ... individual is who she/he is claiming to be, and for ... unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprint, hand or palm print, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):CEO of NXT-ID, Inc. to Discuss Company's Biometric Technologies at RedChip Online Conference January 29th 2CEO of NXT-ID, Inc. to Discuss Company's Biometric Technologies at RedChip Online Conference January 29th 3J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO, Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) Participates in White House Precision Medicine Event 2Biometrics - A Global Market Overview 2Biometrics - A Global Market Overview 3
(Date:3/3/2015)... Experts and industry insiders from around the ... Alltech REBELation exploring innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas in ... 31st year, Alltech’s annual international conference traditionally draws more ... to join the REBELation at an extra discount registration ... at which point the standard early registration rate will ...
(Date:3/3/2015)... 2015 /CNW/- SQI Diagnostics Inc. (TSX:V: SQD), a life sciences ... products for advanced microarray diagnostics, today announced it ... its Management team. In his capacity as CFO ... from a development stage to a commercially successful ... Company,s capital market strategy and to secure funding ...
(Date:3/3/2015)... 3, 2015  Regenicin, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ... development of and commercialization of regenerative cell therapies to ... today that it has received the final payment to ... Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AMBS ). ... the final payments due to Regenicin in the amount ...
(Date:3/3/2015)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , March 3, 2015  RegeneRx ... an editorial in the scientific journal, Expert Opinion ... and his colleague, Dr. Zhenggang Zhang , at ... reported that Thymosin beta 4 (TB4) has ... (PNS) remodeling 24 hours or more post-injury, leading to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:World-renowned Leaders, Authors and Businesspeople Join the Alltech REBELation 2World-renowned Leaders, Authors and Businesspeople Join the Alltech REBELation 3World-renowned Leaders, Authors and Businesspeople Join the Alltech REBELation 4SQI Diagnostics Appoints Chief Financial Officer 2SQI Diagnostics Appoints Chief Financial Officer 3Regenicin (RGIN) Receives $2.3 Million in Final Payment from Amarantus 2Regenicin (RGIN) Receives $2.3 Million in Final Payment from Amarantus 3Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital Propose Thymosin Beta 4 as Novel Way to Treat Neural Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases 2Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital Propose Thymosin Beta 4 as Novel Way to Treat Neural Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases 3
Cached News: