More than 75% of the human genome may be 'junk' DNA.

by fulltimestudent 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent

    Making little or no difference to our daily lives, comes the claim that most of our human genome is not functional.

    Dan Graur an (evolutionary) biologist at the University of Houston and other academics made the claim in a paper published in an online journal, Genome Biology and Evolution.

    The group's calculations suggest that not more than 25% of the human genome is functional - the rest is seen as 'junk' DNA,

    See Science Dailys coverage of the report at:

    Coverage of similar research at the UK's Oxford University (reported in The Guardian Aust. web edition)

    added comments by Gerton Lunter, a member of that research team:

    Who (it is reported), "said that based on the comparisons, 8.2% of human DNA was "functional", meaning that it played an important enough role to be conserved by evolution. ...

    Researchers have known for some time that only 1% of human DNA is held in genes that are used to make crucial proteins to keep cells – and bodies – alive and healthy. The latest study, reported in the journal Plos Genetics, suggests that a further 7% of human DNA is equally vital, regulating where, when, and how genes are expressed.

    But if much of our DNA is so worthless, why do we still carry it around? ... " Lunter said. "We haven't been designed. We've evolved and that's a messy process. This other DNA really is just filler. It's not garbage. It might come in useful one day. But it's not a burden."

    Some of our DNA is left over from ancient viruses that inserted their genetic material into our DNA – or our ancestors DNA – and got mutated to pieces over millennia of evolution. Some still have the ability to jump around in our genomes, adding to the filler as they do so, but are so crippled they cannot break out."

    NB: The Guardian report explains what these scientists mean by "functional."

  • Perry

    Just the latest attempt to run damage control to the evolution-destroying-findings of the Human Genome Project (now ENCODE) published a few years ago:

    According to ENCODE’s analysis, 80 percent of the genome has a “biochemical function”. More on exactly what this means later, but the key point is: It’s not “junk”. Scientists have long recognised that some non-coding DNA has a function, and more and more solid examples have come to light.

    But, many maintained that much of these sequences were, indeed, junk. ENCODE says otherwise. “Almost every nucleotide is associated with a function of some sort or another, and we now know where they are, what binds to them, what their associations are, and more,” says Tom Gingeras, one of the study’s many senior scientists.

    And what’s in the remaining 20 percent? Possibly not junk either, according to Ewan Birney, the project’s Lead Analysis Coordinator and self-described “cat-herder-in-chief”. He explains that ENCODE only looked at 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand.


  • never a jw
    never a jw

    Perry: "80 percent of the genome has a “biochemical function"

    80%, 10 % or 100%, what difference does it make? It's a DNA that has been forming gradually for more than 3 billion years. Whether there's a creator or not behind this long process, the Bible can't offer a reliable account of anything, especially about the beginnings of human life.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    I'm thinking this junk DNA gets used in the embryo stage of life to follow the evolutionary processes that occurred from a one celled organism to the present multi celled species. I'm thinking encoded in our junk DNA is our entire evolutionary history and these get turned on during different segments of our progression after fertilization to gradually built the entire species to its present mature form.

    But in the past few years, the tide has shifted within the field. Recent studies have revealed a wealth of new pieces of noncoding DNA that do seem to be as important to our survival as our more familiar genes. Many of them may encode molecules that help guide our development from a fertilized egg to a healthy adult, for example. If these pieces of noncoding DNA become damaged, we may suffer devastating consequences like brain damage or cancer, depending on what pieces are affected. Large-scale surveys of the genome have led a number of researchers to expect that the human genome will turn out to be even more full of activity than previously thought.
  • Perry
    80%, 10 % or 100%, what difference does it make?
    Alot. A genome with 80 to 100 percent functionality doesn't fit the the evolutionary narrative.

    Lots and lots and lots of things do not fit the evolutionary narrative. If most any one of the key things are true, evolution goes up in smoke.

    RSR's List of Not So Old Things
    List of Evidence Against the Big Bang
    List of Big Bang Predictions
    List of Fine Tuning Evidence
    List of Scholars Doubting Darwin

    List of Creation Science Predictions
    List of Shocked Evolutionists
    List of Solar System Formation Problems
    List of Papers that Shock Potheads
    List of Carbon 14 Everywhere it Shouldn't Be

    List of Dinosaur Soft Tissue Journal Papers
    List of Answers to Hydroplate Objections
    List of Proofs for the Genius of Ancient Man
    List of Missing Transitional Fossils
    List of Genomes that Just Don't Fit

    List of Fresh Fossils
    List of Solar System Transient Events

    List of Whale Evolution Problems

    Atheism is the driving force behind the standard godless evolution narrative, not facts.

    At least some evolution biologists are aware and honest about their ideological commitments. Here are the words of Richard Lewontin:

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, IN SPITE OF its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, IN SPITE OF the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a A PRIORI adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.–(“Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review of Books, Jan. 4, 1997, pg. 31. Emphasis in original, though they were italicized, not caps)

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Perry, I looked at one of your recommended references, it was highly misleading since the information was placed firmly in the context of creationism, not with the objective analysis of demonstrable fact and provable pre-history in mind.

    If you were to attempt to see clearly, being scientific means making an honest and disinterested evaluation, not coming at it with a religious dogma all guns blazing to prove your point at any cost.

    Get real man

  • cofty

    The vast majority of our genome is free-loading junk.

    This is also true of most other eukaryotic species but not of prokaryotes.

    There is a species of very ordinary onion Allium ursinum that has a genome ten times as large as the human genome - lots and lots of parasitic code.

    Consider one type of non-coding DNA known as the ALU element. These tiny bits of parasitic code, just 300 base pairs long, don't code for anything they just hitch a free ride in the genome of all primates. Imagine highlighting 300 characters in a bit of computer code, pressing Ctrl+C, then clicking at a random place and holding down Ctrl+V. Sometimes called "jumping genes", ALU elements have done this so many times that they now make up 10% of the 3 billion letters in our genome.

    Most of them are harmless but some land in the middle of important genes and are associated with diseases such as hemophilia, leukemia, breast cancer, heart disease and anemia.

    Since ALU elements are found in all primates and since their location in the genome is random, they provide a perfect opportunity to study human relationships with other primates. If two identical ALU elements are found in analogous places in the genome of different species it would be evidence that they share a common ancestor.

    The results of this work brilliantly confirmed the common ancestry of humans with other primates. Looking at just one gene, the alpha-globin cluster, seven separate ALU elements have been discovered. All seven of them are found in precisely the same location in the corresponding chimpanzee gene. This puts the evolutionary relationship between humans and chimpanzees beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Anybody who rejects this evidence for human evolution ought to be consistent and refuse to serve on a jury where forensic evidence will be presented.

  • cofty

    ENCODE dishonestly misused the word "function" in order to make their results look more significant.

    I know Perry won't read the following paper but here it is anyway.

    On the Immortality of Television Sets: “Function” in the Human Genome According to the Evolution-Free Gospel of ENCODE.

  • notsurewheretogo
    Atheism is the driving force behind the standard godless evolution narrative, not facts.

    Just go away...cos that is utter crap.

  • rebelfighter

    I have absolutely no clue what you all are talking about as far as I am concerned this entire thread could be in a foreign language, none of it makes any sense. Over the past year I have attempted to understand some things about DNA for a personal reason but I have never been a science person.

    All I know is we really need MORE people in this field, I was told after much research on my part and a wonderful one time poster on this forum who gave me a clue in the right direction. I need genetic mapping by a geneticist. Now there is the problem my doctors and I have jumped through hoops for the local university geneticist we need, we need, we need yet they still will not return phone calls to set up initial appointment. The university 4 1/2 hrs away says yes we will make the initial appointment 9 months from now. My doctors are up in arms because the current medication cannot be increased because it has reached toxic ranges. All substitutes have caused adverse reactions. Why is it so hard to get anywhere in this field? First none of my doctors knew anything about it. Now we have to play like hell to get an appointment plus supply them with ten tons of proof that the appointment and testing is necessary.

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