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Pseudogenes

Ram Samudrala ram at mbisgi.umd.edu
Fri Sep 8 16:56:09 EST 1995


Xuhua Xia (xxia1 at unix1.sncc.lsu.edu) wrote:

>A pesudogene is like a character in a fiction, who is mirrored from
>some persons or animals or objects in the real world, but is not
>constrained by the laws governing the real world.

It's a nice definition, but:

Say you have a gene, and it duplicates---only one functional copy of
the gene is required.  At what point does either one of the genes
become a "pseudogene"?

>not really harm those in the real world. In short, a pesudogene is
>often free to take on any nucleotide anywhere anytime in a way that is
>not allowed in a functional gene.

This has two meanings as I see it:

1. There is a restriction imposed by natural selection in such a way
that any organism that incorporates deliterious mutations in
functional gene will die and therefore you never see the mutations on
a functional gene.  However, you see them on a pseudogene because
there's no selection pressure.

2. There is something that says you can make mutations in a
pseudogene at will but you can't on a functional gene.

I hope you see the difference.  I presume you mean (1) when you say it
is "free to take on any nucleotide"?   A functional gene then is ALSO
free to take on any nucleotide, but the organism that takes on a
deleterious change in a functional gene will not survive.

--Ram

me at ram.org  ||  http://www.ram.org  ||  http://www.twisted-helices.com/th
                                   Daddy's lil girl ain't a girl no more.  
This is outrage and it's gross.    This is getting to me and I'm drowned. 
                        I'm a negative creep and I'm stoned!   ---Nirvana



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