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Nucleic Acids Res. Jan 11, 1995; 23(1): 170–175.
PMCID: PMC306646

Ubiquitous mammalian-wide interspersed repeats (MIRs) are molecular fossils from the mesozoic era.

Abstract

Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are ubiquitous in mammalian genomes. Remarkable variety of these repeats among placental orders indicates that most of them amplified in each lineage independently, following mammalian radiation. Here, we present an ancient family of repeats, whose sequence divergence and common occurrence among placental mammals, marsupials and monotremes indicate their amplification during the Mesozoic era. They are called MIRs for abundant Mammalian-wide Interspersed Repeats. With approximately 120,000 copies still detectable in the human genome (0.2-0.3% DNA), MIRs represent a 'fossilized' record of a major genetic event preceding the radiation of placental orders.

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