Use it or lose it? Researchers investigate the dispensability of our DNA

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - 17:07 in Biology & Nature

Our genome contains many genes encoding proteins that are similar to those of other organisms, suggesting evolutionary relationships; however, protein-coding genes account for only a small fraction the genome, and there are many other DNA sequences that are conserved across species. What are these sequences doing, and do we really need them at all? In a study published online today in Genome Research, researchers have delved into this mystery and found that evolution has actively kept them in our genome.

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