Evolutionary Roles of Transposable Elements and Non-coding DNA

The Science and the Philosophy

October 20 & 21, 2018
University Club, Dalhousie University



Recommended Reading

Choung, E.B. Elde, N.C. Feschotte, C. (2016), "Regulatory activities of transposable elements: from conflicts to benefits." Nature Reviews Genetics.

Doolittle, W.F. & Sapienza, C. (1980), "Selfish genes, the phenotype paradigm, and genome evolution." Nature 284:601-603.

Downes S.M. (2006), "Biological information," in S. Sarkar and J. Pfeifer (ed) The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. pp 64-68.

Downes, S.M. (2004), "Alternative splicing, the gene concept, and evolution." History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 26: 91-104.


Feynman, R. P. (1974), "Cargo cult science."  Caltech magazine.

Garson, J. (2017), "A generalized selected effects theory of function." Philosophy of Science, 84:523-543.

Griffiths, P.E. (2009), "In what sense does 'nothing make sense except in light of evolution?" Acta biotheoretica, 57:11-32.

Haig, D. (2012), "Retroviruses and the placenta." Current Biology 22: P609-P613.

Haig, D. (2016), "Transposable elements: Self seekers of the germline, team players of the soma." Bioessays 38:1158-1166. 

Havstad, J. (2011), "Problems for natural selection as a mechanism." Philosophy of Science, 78:512-523.

Linquist (in prep), "Transposons for philosophers."

Elliot, T.E. Linquist, S. Gregory, T.R. (2014), "Conceptual and empirical challenges of ascribing functions to transposable elements."  The American Naturalist 184: 14-24.

Palazzo, A.F. & Lee, E.S. (2015), "Non-coding RNA: what is functional and what is junk?" Frontiers in Genetics, 6(2): 1-11.

Palazzo, A.F. & Lee, E.S. (in press), "Sequence determinants for nuclear retention and cytoplasmic export of mRNAs and lncRNAs." 

Ponting, C.P. (2017), "Biological function in the twilight zone of sequence conservation." BMC Biology 15:71: 1-9.

Rands, C.M. Meader, S. Ponting, C.P. Lunter, G. (2014), "8.2% of the human genome is constrained: variation in rates of turnover across functional element classes in the human lineage." PLOS Genetics 10: e1004525.

Stegmann, U.E. (2012), "Varieties of parity." Biology and Philosophy, 27: 903-918.

Venuto, D. & Bourque, G. (2018), Identifying co-opted transposable elements using comparative epigenomics. Development, Growth & Differentiation 60:53-62.