see the recent column by Shapiro in the Huffington Post
Is the idea of junk DNA finally dead?
5 responses to “Is the idea of junk DNA finally dead?”
I like Shapiro but accepting the Encode results and then leaping to conclusions as to their signficance is likely to be embarrasing. I stay out of the junk versus design fray. However, the only way to really test the significance of Encode data is to do deletions. In that regard, we have some data – see here =>.
Additional reading here
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (single base pair differences in the population) cover about 1% of the genome (every ~ 100 bases over the 3 billion base pair human genome). Most of these are in non coding regions and cause no cellular defects. Of course those in coding regions might have serious effects. Recent data also shows there are about 14,000 large DNA deletion variations in the human population and many more indels (small insertions/deletions). Again these are mostly in the “low complexity” sequences (repetitive DNA AKA “junk”) and do not show an effect.