Friday, June 15, 2007

New Discoveries In DNA

The human gnome project was completed in April 2003. Since then there has been a collaboration of 80 different research groups in an effort known as the ENCODE project who wants to study DNA on a much closer level then was done by the human genome project. They have selected 1% of the known human DNA for serious investigation and they have come across some remarkable findings.

Before this study it was thought there two two types of DNA: that which actively was involved in replication and transcription and the other, dubbed "junk" DNA, which was thought to do nothing but sit there. To their astonishment, they found that, though "junk" DNA is not directly responsible for replication and transcription, it very much acts like a regulatory processes governing cells. Furthermore the study learned: "'epigenetic' factors outside of genes are probably big players behind many diseases."

Here are two articles on the subject form The Washington Post and Science Daily.

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