Useless information #26 - Is most of the DNA molecule also USELESS INFORMATION?

Only 8% of human DNA is actually doing something important.

Time for definitions:

  • DNA - "Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule that contains the instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce. These instructions are found inside every cell, and are passed down from parents to their children." (source)

  • Gene - "A gene is the basic physical and functional unit of heredity. Genes, which are made up of DNA, act as instructions to make molecules called proteins" - (source)

The majority of the DNA molecule is called junk DNA or useless DNA because it has no genes, or at least not functional ones. It seems a lot of waste that less than 10% of the molecule carries useful genetic information.

"Perhaps that's just the way it is" is not a satisfying answer for scientific minds and thus the research goes on. It has been hypothesized that the useless DNA contributes somehow in gene control, work as a kind of deposit for non utilized genes or have the purpose of helping the molecule to fit in the tiny cell nuclei.

Any geneticists out there?! We appreciate your help. Any developments on this?

See you tomorrow for more “Useless information”

sources: 1, 2

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