Shining the dark matter

Genes are just the infinitesimal part of the story. This is a reasonable conclusion after reading “The dark side of the human genome“.

Major part of superior species genomes are composed by ‘non-coding’ DNA – known as dark matter – which has no apparent function in the genomes. However, fresh studies are pinpointing that, in fact, Human genome has less genes than previously predicted – then 25 thousand and now 19 thousand genes -, and more regulatory elements (15 million predicted).

After the sequencing of Human Genome, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project was launched, in 2003, by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The project aims “to identify all functional elements in the human genome sequence”, or in other words, to bring the dark side of the human genome to the spotlight.

Evolutionary biologists have increasingly data to pore over.

ENCODE links:

 

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