Horizontal Gene Transfer Discussion
Not everyone is excited about the influenza vaccine. For a variety of reasons people don’t believe in the worth of the seasonal flu vaccine. One big excuse is “I never get the flu vaccine and I never get the flu so they must be useless!” Nowadays, they are more confused as to why health care providers are suggesting the flu shot when it doesn’t protect from COVID. In an essay that is at most one page, explain to someone what the signs and symptoms of the flu are, explain what the importance of the influenza vaccine and what some commons misconceptions are about the flu and the influenza vaccination. Also, explain why it is important to get a flu vaccine during the current pandemic.
Know what the seasonal flu is
Understand the importance of the influenza vaccine
Know the different types of Influenza vaccines
Understand how the seasonal influenza vaccine is developed
Learn how Herd Immunity influences society
Be able to compare and contrast COVID infection from influenza
The seasonal flu is a very important part of our community. The use of the seasonal flu vaccine is very important for the health of our society. Though it is not always perfect, the vaccine limits the spread of many strains of influenza.
Here is a good website to get patient centered information on the influenza vaccine:
Here is an important website to learn more:
Here is a good website to visually see herd immunity in action:
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) or lateral gene transfer (LGT) is the movement of genetic material between unicellular and/or multicellular organisms other than by the (“vertical”) transmission of DNA from parent to offspring (reproduction). HGT is an important factor in the evolution of many organisms.
Horizontal gene transfer is the primary mechanism for the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and plays an important role in the evolution of bacteria that can degrade novel compounds such as human-created pesticides and in the evolution, maintenance, and transmission of virulence. It often involves temperate bacteriophages and plasmids. Genes responsible for antibiotic resistance in one species of bacteria can be transferred to another species of bacteria through various mechanisms of HGT such as transformation, transduction and conjugation, subsequently arming the antibiotic resistant genes’ recipient against antibiotics. The rapid spread of antibiotic resistance genes in this manner is becoming medically challenging to deal with. Ecological factors may also play a role in the HGT of antibiotic resistant genes. It is also postulated that HGT promotes the maintenance of a universal life biochemistry and, subsequently, the universality of the genetic code.
Most thinking in genetics has focused upon vertical transfer, but the importance of horizontal gene transfer among single-cell organisms is beginning to be acknowledged.
Horizontal transposon transfer
A transposable element (TE) (also called a transposon or jumping gene) is a mobile segment of DNA that can sometimes pick up a resistance gene and insert it into a plasmid or chromosome, thereby inducing horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic resistance.
Horizontal transposon transfer (HTT) refers to the passage of pieces of DNA that are characterized by their ability to move from one locus to another between genomes by means other than parent-to-offspring inheritance. Horizontal gene transfer has long been thought to be crucial to prokaryotic evolution, but there is a growing amount of data showing that HTT is a common and widespread phenomenon in eukaryote evolution as well. On the transposable element side, spreading between genomes via horizontal transfer may be viewed as a strategy to escape purging due to purifying selection, mutational decay and/or host defense mechanisms.
HTT can occur with any type of transposable elements, but DNA transposons and LTR retroelements are more likely to be capable of HTT because both have a stable, double-stranded DNA intermediate that is thought to be sturdier than the single-stranded RNA intermediate of non-LTR retroelements, which can be highly degradable. Non-autonomous elements may be less likely to transfer horizontally compared to autonomous elements because they do not encode the proteins required for their own mobilization. The structure of these non-autonomous elements generally consists of an intronless gene encoding a transposase protein, and may or may not have a promoter sequence. Those that do not have promoter sequences encoded within the mobile region rely on adjacent host promoters for expression. Horizontal transfer is thought to play an important role in the TE life cycle.
HTT has been shown to occur between species and across continents in both plants and animals (Ivancevic et al. 2013), though some TEs have been shown to more successfully colonize the genomes of certain species over others. Both spatial and taxonomic proximity of species has been proposed to favor HTTs in plants and animals. It is unknown how the density of a population may affect the rate of HTT events within a population, but close proximity due to parasitism and cross contamination due to crowding have been proposed to favor HTT in both plants and animals. Successful transfer of a transposable element requires delivery of DNA from donor to host cell (and to the germ line for multi-cellular organisms), followed by integration into the recipient host genome. Though the actual mechanism for the transportation of TEs from donor cells to host cells is unknown, it is established that naked DNA and RNA can circulate in bodily fluid. Many proposed vectors include arthropods, viruses, freshwater snails (Ivancevic et al. 2013), endosymbiotic bacteria, and intracellular parasitic bacteria. In some cases, even TEs facilitate transport for other TEs.
The arrival of a new TE in a host genome can have detrimental consequences because TE mobility may induce mutation. However, HTT can also be beneficial by introducing new genetic material into a genome and promoting the shuffling of genes and TE domains among hosts, which can be co-opted by the host genome to perform new functions. Moreover, transposition activity increases the TE copy number and generates chromosomal rearrangement hotspots. HTT detection is a difficult task because it is an ongoing phenomenon that is constantly changing in frequency of occurrence and composition of TEs inside host genomes. Furthermore, few species have been analyzed for HTT, making it difficult to establish patterns of HTT events between species. These issues can lead to the underestimation or overestimation of HTT events between ancestral and current eukaryotic species.[