One Half of DNA is Parasitic

Parasites are not only incredibly diverse; they are also incredibly successful. There are parasitic stretches of DNA in your own genes, some of which are called retrotransposons. Many of the parasitic stretches were originally viruses that entered our DNA. Most of them don't do us any harm. They just copy and insert themselves in other parts of our DNA, basically replicating themselves. Sometimes they hop into other species and replicate themselves in a new host. According to one estimate, roughly one-third to one-half of all human DNA is basically parasitic.


This doesn't sound right to me, but the claim is that Viruses have inserted so much DNA into our genomes.

Folksonomies: evolution genetics dna viruses

parasitic stretches (0.977812 (negative:-0.541023)), DNA (0.948065 (negative:-0.524235)), human DNA (0.808197 (negative:-0.287586)), roughly one-third (0.763829 (negative:-0.287586)), new host (0.704196 (neutral:0.000000)), viruses (0.616492 (negative:-0.693816)), genomes (0.507693 (negative:-0.733952)), Parasites (0.503786 (negative:-0.312998)), one-half (0.500164 (negative:-0.287586)), harm (0.496655 (negative:-0.728429)), claim (0.496595 (negative:-0.733952)), Half (0.493082 (negative:-0.745381)), estimate (0.488461 (positive:0.352174)), genes (0.487865 (negative:-0.428366)), retrotransposons (0.473121 (neutral:0.000000)), parts (0.472055 (negative:-0.296443))

DNA (0.960292): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Bacteria (0.710690): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Gene (0.681558): dbpedia | freebase
Organism (0.626886): dbpedia | freebase
RNA (0.603388): dbpedia | freebase
Genome (0.586261): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Virus (0.547476): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Genetics (0.510207): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The Power of Parasites Talk at Columbia University,
Proceedings of Meetings and Symposia>Speech:  Zimmer, Carl (2008), The Power of Parasites Talk at Columbia University,, Retrieved on 2012-06-08