- Not Exactly Rocket Science
How a quarter of the cow genome came from snakes
Genomes are often described as recipe books for living things. If that’s the case, many of them badly need an editor. For example, around half of the human genome is made up of bits of DNA that have copied themselves and jumped around, creating vast tracts of repetitive sequences. The same is true for the cow genome, where one particular piece of DNA, known as BovB, has run amok. It’s there in its thousands. Around a quarter of a cow’s DNA is made of BovB sequences or their descendants.
BovB isn’t restricted to cows. If you look for it in other animals, as Ali Morton Walsh from the University of Adelaide did, you’ll find it in elephants, horses, and platypuses. It