Human Genome Is Much More Than Just Genes

For the past decade, scientists have been working on the assumption that 20,000 genes, less than 2 per cent of the total genome, underpin human biology. But a massive international project called ENCODE has revealed that plenty of the remaining 98 per cent, once tossed aside as “junk DNA”, is in fact incredibly important.

In fact, the project — known more formally as the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements — reveals that 80 per cent of that “junk DNA” is biochemically active. Add to that the fact that large stretches of DNA that appeared to serve no purpose actually contain over 400,000 regulators that help activate or silence genes, and the scientific community is surprised to say the least.

The findings will shake up biology for good, and are already starting to help scientists better understand disease. It will, however, take a long time for scientists to get to grips with the vast quantities of information this research yields. Learn more here or here.

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2 Responses to “Human Genome Is Much More Than Just Genes”

  1. taschaherrmann Says:

    Reblogged this on The Observer and commented:
    Hmm….This is extremely interesting. Should, we, humans play around with changing genetical errors or/and “junk” if through this we might a unknown chemical imbalance in ourselves. If we play around with our DNA will it cause our entire body structure and function ability to mess up? Mr.Palmer told us last meeting that spiders are entirely controlled by their Genes and so is the stuff that is going on inside of us. If we mess up or even change the way our DNA works won’t we just be messing ourselves up more?

  2. chanellontoc Says:

    Reblogged this on ChanelinHLBiology and commented:
    This is in relation to what we’re learning, Genes.
    This post does not really talk about modifying genes but I think that we should not mess around with our human genome, or any genome for that matter. I think that we should not manipulate ourselves to be ‘perfect’ because it is impossible. There will always be something that is wrong or something that we don’t like about ourselves. However, I also think that if this kind of study helps scientists and doctors cure or stop a disease, then they should study it more but not manipulate it for a human.

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