Monday, March 31, 2008

So much for "junk DNA"

Only 1-2% of the DNA in humans and other higher organisms appears to code for proteins. But the remaining so-called "junk DNA" may be transribed into RNA with numerous functions.
The Eukaryotic Genome as an RNA Machine in Science Magazine.
The past few years have revealed that the genomes of all studied eukaryotes are almost entirely transcribed, generating an enormous number of non–protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). In parallel, it is increasingly evident that many of these RNAs have regulatory functions. Here, we highlight recent advances that illustrate the diversity of ncRNA control of genome dynamics, cell biology, and developmental programming.

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