Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

  • -id > 9:3

Selfish DNA

Proposed name for functionless DNA that exploits a cell or an organism in order to replicate itself. Although originally proposed by August Weismann in different terms, the idea that selfish DNA behaves in this manner was popularized by Richard Dawkins, and remains controversial. Examples include: pseudogenes that arise by endoreduplication; repeated and dispersed elements that are generated during unequal crossing over. Aka junk DNA, parasitic DNA.

Full-Text Search Entries