William D Hamilton in 1960s developed the concept of selfish genes which was popularised by Richard Dawkins novel “The Selfish Gene”. Selfish genetic elements refer to the DNA elements which spread by forming additional copies but do not contribute to the reproductive success of the organism. The elements are still passed on to the next generation due its efficient replicative ability. They can either manipulate the DNA replication machinery of the cell or have the ability to copy their own DNA. E.g. Transposons and homing endonuclease.
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