DNA Discovery

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UT Arlington researchers have concluded that there’s more than one way to transfer DNA among species.

Genome biologist Cédric Feschotte and postdoctoral researchers Clément Gilbert and Sarah Schaack found the first solid evidence of horizontal DNA transfer—the movement of genetic material among non-mating species—between parasitic invertebrates and some of their vertebrate hosts. The long-held theory is that mammals obtain genes vertically, or handed down from parents to offspring. Bacteria receive their genes vertically and also horizontally, passed from one unrelated individual to another or even between different species.

The findings were published in Nature, one of the world’s foremost scientific journals.

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