Some DNA Dismissed As ‘Junk’ Is Crucial To Embryo Development

In these two two-cell mouse embryos, the surface of the embryos is outlined in orange, the DNA in the nucleus is indicated in blue and the activity of the LINE-1 gene is indicated via bright red spots.

Formerly considered useless, or maybe a parasite, the stretch of DNA known as LINE-1 actually plays “a key role” in creating an embryo and embryonic stem cells, research shows.

(Image credit: Ramalho-Santos lab/UCSF)

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