Ugwuomu Nike, Enugu State, Nigeria
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We plan and run five advanced bio-science workshops through the year for students and faculty from different tertiary and educational institutions plus other organizations in Nigeria. We host – World of DNA, DNA Science, Genome Science, DNA Barcoding of the Nigerian flora and fauna; and DNA Metabarcoding.
In addition to this, we also host workshops, conferences and seminars for public audience for awareness and science education.
The Genome Science course examines a polymorphism in the human genome that is caused by the insertion of an Alu transposon, or transposable element. Alu is a member of the family of short interspersed elements (SINEs) and is approximately 300 nucleotides in length. Alu owes its name to a recognition site for the endonuclease AluI in its middle. Although Alu is sometimes called a “jumping gene,” it is not properly a gene, because it does not produce a protein product.
Alu transposons are found only in primate genomes and have accumulated in large numbers since primates diverged from other mammals. Human chromosomes contain more than one million Alu copies, equaling about 10% of the genome by mass. This accumulation was made possible by a transposition mechanism that reverse transcribes Alu mRNAs into mobile DNA copies.
Another transposon, the long interspersed element (LINE) L1, supplies a specialized reverse transcriptase enzyme needed for Alu to jump. Hence, Alu and L1 exist in a sort of molecular symbiosis.The expected skill sets to be acquired include the practical knowledge on: