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Professor David Adelson
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Research interest are genome evolution and architecture of mammals. Biological mechanisms underlying genome evolution are believed to originate with retrotransposon insertions that can ultimately lead to segmental (gene) duplications/deletions, incorporation of retrotransposons into protein coding genes (exaptation) or gene duplication via retro-gene formation. The resulting "churning" of both non-protein coding regions and protein domains are believed to be two of the major forces that drive speciation and adaptation. My current primary research aim is to understand the magnitude and rate of change associated with retrotransposon insertion.
This is an important research problem both in terms of our understanding of evolutionary mechanisms and processes but also because these processe frequently give rise to mutations or structural variation affecting gene regulation and function. These alterations can result in disease or alter economically important agricultural traits.
Current research projects include characterizing the degree of horizontal gene transfer in vertebrates, model organism databases, data mining and determining the effect of disregulated retrotransposons on genome stability.
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