The real life of pseudogenes

Mark Gerstein, Deyou Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The differences in pseudogenes offer hints about diverse life histories of different species and plays an important roles in regulating the activity of functional genes. Pseudogenes may analogously be vestiges of old code associated with defunct routines, but they also constitute a fascinating record contained within the overall program of how it has grown and diversified. Most pseudogenes are disabled duplicates of working genes and may have been dead on arrival, having suffered lethal damage during the copying process, or they may have accumulated debilitating mutations over time that collectively rendered them incapable of functioning. Pseudogenes can be born in two ways, duplication and retrotransposition, each of which yields a distinctive fascimile of the original parent gene. They are reactivated when the organism is challenged by a stressful new environment, and might be considered as potentially unorned genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalScientific American
Volume295
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

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Pseudogenes
Copying Processes
Duplicate Genes
Genes
Mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Gerstein, M., & Zheng, D. (2006). The real life of pseudogenes. Scientific American, 295(2), 48-55.

The real life of pseudogenes. / Gerstein, Mark; Zheng, Deyou.

In: Scientific American, Vol. 295, No. 2, 08.2006, p. 48-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gerstein, M & Zheng, D 2006, 'The real life of pseudogenes', Scientific American, vol. 295, no. 2, pp. 48-55.
Gerstein M, Zheng D. The real life of pseudogenes. Scientific American. 2006 Aug;295(2):48-55.
Gerstein, Mark ; Zheng, Deyou. / The real life of pseudogenes. In: Scientific American. 2006 ; Vol. 295, No. 2. pp. 48-55.
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