Biology

Junk DNA: is it just evolutionary baggage?

(Image: Adam Nieman via Flickr)

(3 billion letter in the human genome – what are they all doing? Image: Adam Nieman via Flickr)

I’ve been really slow off the mark with this one. A couple of months ago, I wrote a feature for COSMOS magazine on junk DNA.

There’s still a lot of debate about what goes on in the vast stretches of our genome that doesn’t code for proteins. Evidence is mounting that there’s far more to our genome than protein coding genes, but how much of our genomic ‘dark matter’ is functional is unknown. While some people think that it’s just a matter of time before we assign function to the majority of our genetic sequences, others maintain that it just doesn’t make evolutionary sense for all of our genome to be useful. You can check out the full article (or even listen to it) here.

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