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The origin of language-like features in DNA

The origin of language-like features in DNA
The origin of language-like features in DNA

Non-coding DNA is known to account for a significant proportion of the genomes of many organisms. The discovery by the use of three statistical tests - the Zipf analysis, the fluctuation analysis and the Shannon entropy - of linguistic features and long-range correlations within non-coding DNA has given rise to the suggestion that this higher-order structure may form the basis of a biological language in non-coding DNA.

This work describes the development of a model to explain the origin of these language-like features in DNA. The model is based on observed genome reshaping processes - namely, transposable element insertion/excision events and point mutations - and involves the repeated duplication of transposable element target sites to build up repetitive blocks of DNA.

This model shows that the observed language-like features can be generated by known genetic rearrangements and therefore suggests that any function of non-coding DNA has been acquired opportunistically, through the use of these language-like features.

University of Southampton
Hurworth, Allan Christopher
Hurworth, Allan Christopher

Hurworth, Allan Christopher (2000) The origin of language-like features in DNA. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Non-coding DNA is known to account for a significant proportion of the genomes of many organisms. The discovery by the use of three statistical tests - the Zipf analysis, the fluctuation analysis and the Shannon entropy - of linguistic features and long-range correlations within non-coding DNA has given rise to the suggestion that this higher-order structure may form the basis of a biological language in non-coding DNA.

This work describes the development of a model to explain the origin of these language-like features in DNA. The model is based on observed genome reshaping processes - namely, transposable element insertion/excision events and point mutations - and involves the repeated duplication of transposable element target sites to build up repetitive blocks of DNA.

This model shows that the observed language-like features can be generated by known genetic rearrangements and therefore suggests that any function of non-coding DNA has been acquired opportunistically, through the use of these language-like features.

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Published date: 2000

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Local EPrints ID: 464309
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/464309
PURE UUID: 8aa6a119-0114-46cf-bdee-8e7dc4291d98

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 22:03
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 01:11

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Author: Allan Christopher Hurworth

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