Peter Refsing Andersen
Almost half of our DNA is composed of so-called DNA parasites - 'selfish' genes whose only function is to copy themselves. Since uncontrolled spreading of DNA parasites can result in both cancer and infertility, animal cells have built up a molecular defense to suppress their activity. To identify and shut down the DNA parasites the cells use specific proteins, which detect DNA parasites and function to break the established rules of gene activation. My research project aims to understand how these defense proteins work, which in turn will reveal fundamental new insight into how the most basic dogmas of genes are laid down.