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Only 1-2% of our genome has protein-coding potential. The rest of the genome consists largely of repetitive DNA, with satellite DNA, retrotransposable elements, and DNA transposons accounting for ~50% of noncoding sequences. For much of the past few decades, these poorly conserved elements have been considered “junk DNA” — remnants of evolution and genetic parasites that proliferate without constraint of purifying selection. According to the ENCODE project however, >80% of noncoding DNA (including repetitive DNA) is developmentally transcribed into non-coding RNAs. It remains unknown whether these non-coding RNAs have a role in cell function and human disease. However, existing RNA sequencing and data analysis pipelines often ignore most of these RNAs or regard them as transcriptional noise and they filter out these RNAs from further analysis. This talk will present the case of a class of these RNAs, those derived by the mouse B2 SINE repeats, and the attempt to change the above approach to “transcriptional noise”. I will elaborate on bioinformatics approaches I used to detect and study the function of these non-coding RNAs that until recently we have either ignored or have been unable to detect.


2-4pm in C674 (UofL)

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