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Jump, Jump Around

Basic biology says that every time a cell is divided, it replicates its entire genome so both new cells have it. But some genes want more. P-elements have the ability to jump around the genome, says Not Exactly Rocket Science's Ed Yong. In a new study published in PNAS, the Carnegie Institution for Science's Allan Spradling writes that P-elements prefer to jump into DNA origins. He analyzed more than 100,000 jumps in Drosophila, and found that the P-elements go to the same places as the origin recognition complex, Yong says. Once there, the P-elements detect the presence of the ORC, and once the origin starts replicating, they're at the head of the line for replication. Then, he adds, they jump to another origin and wait to be copied again. "This could explain why the sections of animal genomes that are replicated last tend to be rife with jumping genes," Yong says. "It could also explain how these jumping genes spread so furiously."

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.