Transposable elements, nicknamed ‘jumping genes’, refer to stretches of DNA that are able to move from one part of the genome to another. Retrotransposons belong to this family of mobile genetic elements but also require the transcription of RNA to DNA in order to move or ‘transpose’. LINEs (long interspersed elements) are one of several subtypes of retrotransposons. In addition to transposing themselves, they are able to mobilize sections of transcribed DNA that lack an associated LINE sequence. This results in retrocopied genes, which have proven to be important for the evolution of new genes. Adam Ewing and colleagues in the Haussler lab explore the diversity of these retrocopied genes, uncovering new insights into their frequency in the human genome and their occurrence in cancer. Their recent publication in Genome Biology explores gene retrocopy insertion polymorphisms (GRIPs).