Genes That Jump Between Species Could Rewrite Our Understanding of Evolution

Genes That Jump Between Species Could Rewrite Our Understanding of Evolution

Horizontal movement of genetic material is widespread across animals, challenging traditional notions of inheritance

 

Humans and other animals share large amounts of genetic material, making geneticists rethink the traditional notion of inheritance. (Bill Bachman / Alamy)

By Joshua Rapp Learn

smithsonian.com 

Where do you get your genes?

The obvious answer is from your parents, whose egg and sperm fused to create the unique combination of genetic material that makes you, you. But surprising new research throws a wrench into that well-known story: It turns out that large quantities of genetic material found in humans actually jumped from other species sometime in the past, and this process may be a major driver of evolution in animals from platypuses to humans…