On October 6, 1995, Mary Kuhner writes,
> In many organisms another substantial portion of the junk (DNA) consists
> thousands of copies of sequences which have the ability to duplicate
> themselves. These may or may not be useful in some way to the organism;
> they could survive even if they are not useful, as a sort of genetic
> parasite, because of that copying ability.
For some time now I've been interested in genetics (mostly with regard to
evolution). Much of the reading I've done thus far has been at a layman's
level (with some exceptions). I do not recall reading of replicating "junk
I find this subject rather interesting and I was wondering if anyone might
be able to recommend some references on the subject.
Secondly, some speculation on the subject by the experts may prove helpful
in my understanding of genetics. For example, what purpose might they
What triggers them to duplicate?
Do they encode RNA compliments?
Do they have start and stop condons? If so, how are they regulated?
Also, from the above description, it is not clear if they are encoded
within the genome or are they just segments of DNA?
Thanks in advance for your replys.