So-called junk DNA hides useful compounds

Bio-Protection Research Centre scientists and collaborators have made a discovery that potentially opens the door to new medicines and biological pesticides.

Taming the genome's 'jumping' sequences

The human genome is fascinating. Once predicted to contain about a hundred thousand protein-coding genes, it now seems that the number is closer to twenty thousand, and maybe less. And although our genome is made up of about ...

Study of Arctic fishes reveals the birth of a gene—from 'junk'

Though separated by a world of ocean, and unrelated to each other, two fish groups—one in the Arctic, the other in the Antarctic—share a surprising survival strategy: They both have evolved the ability to produce the ...

Plant genes may lack off switch, but have volume control

Scientists at the University of California, Davis have discovered that DNA sequences thought to be essential for gene activity can be expendable. Sequences once called junk sometimes call the shots instead.

DNA dumpster diving

Since the 1960s, it's largely been assumed that most of the DNA in the human genome was junk. It didn't encode proteins—the main activity of our genes— so it was assumed to serve no purpose. But Assistant Professor of ...

Sex, genes, the Y chromosome and the future of men

The Y chromosome, that little chain of genes that determines the sex of humans, is not as tough as you might think. In fact, if we look at the Y chromosome over the course of our evolution we've seen it shrink at an alarming ...

What happens when good genes get lost?

Scientifically speaking, there is no bad DNA, though we like to blame it for unruly hair, klutziness or poor gardening skills. There is, however, junk DNA.

New functions for 'junk' DNA?

DNA is the molecule that encodes the genetic instructions enabling a cell to produce the thousands of proteins it typically needs. The linear sequence of the A, T, C, and G bases in what is called coding DNA determines the ...

Research sheds light on M.O. of unusual RNA molecules

(Phys.org) —The genes that code for proteins—more than 20,000 in total—make up only about 1 percent of the complete human genome. That entire thing—not just the genes, but also genetic junk and all the rest—is coiled ...

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