Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Unit Chapters
Genomics
Proteins & Proteomics
Evolution & Phylogenetics
Microbial Diversity
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Introduction
Why Do Diseases Emerge?
The Human Body as an Ecosystem
The Emergence of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Mechanisms of Resistance
Microbial Adaptation and Change
Lateral Gene Transfer
Transposons
Travel, Demographics, and Susceptibility
New Technologies
Animal Reservoirs
Insect Vectors
Climate and Weather
Preventing and Controlling Emerging Infectious Disease
HIV & AIDS
Genetics of Development
Cell Biology & Cancer
Human Evolution
Neurobiology
Biology of Sex & Gender
Biodiversity
Genetically Modified Organisms
Transposons

Transposons (transposable elements) are genes that can move ("jump") from one DNA molecule to another in a cell, or from one location to another on the same DNA molecule. They can facilitate the transfer of genes, such as antibiotic-resistance genes, from the chromosome of a bacterium to a plasmid. They also can contribute to genetic diversity by causing mutations.

The simplest type of transposon is an insertion sequence (IS). It is a sequence of DNA that encodes an enzyme called transposase, which enables the IS to move. The transposase gene is flanked on either side by fifteen to twenty-five base pairs, arranged as "inverted repeats." A composite transposon is composed of any gene sandwiched between two IS sequences; this entire unit will move.

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