You know, I hate it when people label things they don’t understand. In this case, the pieces of our genetic code that weren’t understood were labeled “junk DNA” or were referred to as “dark matter.” I’ve always disliked this immensely, because I did not for one minute believe it was junk, just because we didn’t yet understand what it did.
I personally always thought part of that junk DNA had been created especially for genealogists, and that all we had to do was to figure out how to unravel it:) At least that’s what I tell people in my presentations.
Finally, today, validation. Scientists have discovered more about our DNA, and our junk DNA isn’t junk. Eighty percent of it has a purpose as gene switches. How about that! Us genealogists knew all along that it wasn’t junk.
Take look at this very interesting article in the New York Times.
Here are the first six papers from the ENCODE project. In addition, 24 more papers are being published in Genome Research and Genome Biology. Six review articles are on the way in The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Science is publishing an article as well.
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Thanks Roberta, the UK’s ‘Guardian’ also has a writeup with a nice video explanation for the concept..it can be read/viewed here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/sep/05/genes-genome-junk-dna-encode
I haven’t read the articles, but I couldn’t agree more about no “junk” DNA.
Or as I like to say: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Every part of the human body was designed with a purpose. For any “scientist” to say otherwise shows their ignorance and arrogance.
When I first read about “junk DNA” I resisted the idea. Do we also have junk braincells or nerve cells?
Please do not rely on newspaper articles for a correct interpretation of scientific data. After all, the internet is a great resource to quickly (within days often) get an interpretation by peers of those doing the actual research. I recommend looking at the blogs “Sandwalk”, genomicron.evolverzone, and cryptogenomicon for just 3 examples: there are dozens more.
A general audience, 35 minute lecture (starts about 5 minute mark) on Youtube can be found by searching “rummaging about in the genetic junkyard”. It should give some food for thought to those who insist there is no “junk” DNA.
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