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Previous thought "Junk" DNA.....

slo1
Posts: 4,353
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9/5/2012 10:29:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Previously though as Junk DNA, it is now realized as critical to making us who we are. It is estimated there are 4 million gene switches in the "junk" that control and influence the genes.

This now explains why a human can have less genes than many other lower order organisms. A very exciting discovery is upon us.

http://www.nytimes.com...
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
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9/6/2012 4:45:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
They should be careful how they use the term "Junk" DNA. DNA has areas of genes that code, exons, and areas of genes that are for everything else or nothing at all. Of all the non-coding regions we have things like Introns, genes which are not transcribed, or rather, not found to be present on mRNA, or pseudogenes, dysfunctional would-be genes that serve no purpose as they can no longer code for proteins. There are also many other things to be found in the non-coding areas. DNA is not just coding genes and a sea of useless junk. That sea contains many different types of gene that do different things other than code, some control code activity as this new study has found but many do other things still unknown. Using the term "Junk" DNA doesn't support the multipurpose theory of DNA, it supports the ignorance that DNA does nothing but code our genetype.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
RoyLatham
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9/6/2012 8:03:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The article describes a genuinely exciting discovery, getting to heart of the matter of how gene switches operate. I'll take issue with some of the background.

The term "junk DNA" was coined in 1972 and was abandoned by scientists quite a while ago. The term used instead is "noncoding DNA." That means the DNA is not associated with building proteins. A number of functions of noncoding DNA have been discovered over the years. Some of it seems to remain "junk" because variations do not seem to correlate with anything exhibited in the organism.

The existence of gene switches has been known for some time. For example, there are identical twins where one twin is left-handed and the other right-handed. That's detectable soon after birth, so the switch as probably prenatal. Many switches are apparently activated later, by the environment. What's exciting is the improved understanding of the mechanisms.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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9/7/2012 6:45:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/5/2012 10:29:02 PM, slo1 wrote:
Previously though as Junk DNA, it is now realized as critical to making us who we are. It is estimated there are 4 million gene switches in the "junk" that control and influence the genes.

This now explains why a human can have less genes than many other lower order organisms. A very exciting discovery is upon us.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Very, very interesting. Thanks for the heads up.
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