A transposable element (TE, transposon, or jumping gene) is a DNA sequence that can change its position within a genome, sometimes creating or reversing mutations and altering the cell's genetic identity and genome size.

Almost 50% of the human genome contains transposable elements. I have several questions:

  • how rarely are they changing positions along the genome?
  • Are these events most likely to occur during Meiosis, Mitosis? Or they could come in an action in other parts of the cell life cycle?
  • Do humans nowadays contains almost the same genetic information (99,9%) including these elements? or does similarity occur only in the protein-coding region?
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Generally, we ask that answer-seekers only include one question per post, or, at most, a few highly related questions. It could be argued that your first two questions (1. how often do transposition events occur? 2. during what point in the cell cycle does transposition occur?) are related, but your third question (3. do measurements of inter-person genetic distance account for TEs?) is distinct. Please edit your post to focus on one question, and, after doing some preliminary research, consider writing your other questions as separate posts. $\endgroup$
    – acvill
    Apr 1 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


To answer your first question and address the title of your post, see this review on active TEs in the human genome. Some excerpts:

Although a large proportion (44%) of the human genome is occupied by transposons and transposon-like repetitive elements, only a small proportion (<0.05%) of these elements remain active today.

Active human transposons have been estimated to generate about one new insertion per 10–100 live births.


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