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Transposon Day 2021

Fourth Annual Transposon Day

New Content Item © McClintock image credit: Smithsonian Institution/Science Service; Restored by Adam CuerdenMobile DNA celebrates Transposon Day every June 16th, to commemorate the birthdate of the founder of transposable elements research, Barbara McClintock (1902-1992). This day was designated to honor her legacy and draw attention to the important research that has changed the way researchers think about evolution, disease, and genomics.

We encourage the TE community to share your thoughts about how McClintock's research influenced your own on Twitter, using the hashtag #transposonday2021. We have also created a new quiz for you to test your TE knowledge- please share your results on Twitter, using the aforementioned hashtag!  

Finally, we have included a selection of articles from Mobile DNA- the flagship journal of all TE research- that highlights some of the great research published over the last year. Happy 4th Annual Transposon Day!

Featured Q&A: TE Hub

New Content ItemThe TE Hub Consortium recently authored a commentary for Mobile DNA on the TE Hub, an open and collaborative platform, providing an entry point and reference site for researchers interested in Transposable Element (TE) diversity, identification, and annotation. While we eagerly await the publication in our journal, the authors participated in a sneak preview Q&A about the project.

Our EiC's on Barbara McClintock

We reached out to our Editors-in-Chief, to speak to their thoughts on Barbara McClintock and her pioneering work:

Irina Arkhipova, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

Barbara McClintock’s 1956 paper “Controlling elements and the gene” in Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology was the first I had to study in preparation for my Ph.D. qualifying exam. Fortunately, the corresponding volume was readily available on the shelves of our library at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow. Of course at that time I could not yet imagine that decades later I would be visiting Cold Spring Harbor as an organizer of a transposable element meeting, and would get a chance to hold in my hands a set of corn ears with multicolored kernels from her collection.

Kathleen Burns, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, USA

I had the great pleasure of serving as the Opponent for Dr. Tatiana Cajuso defending her Ph.D. in Lauri Aaltonen’s research group at the University of Helsinki last year. 

Tatiana included a quote attributed to Dr. Barbara McClintock in the forward of her thesis: 

“If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off … no matter what they say.” 

As our field moves forward to more fully appreciate the wonders of mobile elements in genomes, it is great that we stop each year to celebrate McClintock’s scientific legacy and reflect on her sense of purpose. And that we recognize the connection between her track and ours.  


Pascale Lesage, INSERM, France

Beyond her major discovery of transposable elements nearly 70 years ago, Barbara McClintock is a source of inspiration for her creativity, her keen sense of observation, and her intuition to understand the underlying biological phenomena. She had the courage to challenge prevailing theories. In today's fast-paced world, it is important to remember that research requires time and freedom of thought.

TE Tweets

Follow us @MobDNAjournal on Twitter and share your stories of how Barbara McClintock's research has impacted your own work, your quiz scores, and connect with the TE community on Transposon Day! Be sure to use hashtag #transposonday2021 in your tweets.

Transposon Day Quiz

In celebration of Transposon Day, the editorial team at BMC has put together this year's edition of our quiz for readers to test their knowledge on TEs and maybe even learn something new! Be sure to share your scores on Twitter with #transposonday2021.

Top selections from the last year

New Content ItemWe are very proud to present some of the articles which were most popular in the field, over the last 12 months. Click here for a mix of articles which were cited well and articles which created a buzz on social media, upon publication in Mobile DNA.

Annual Journal Metrics