“The mystery of the human genome’s dark matter”

Light reading on Sunday morning? … tongue in cheek?

Only cost $3 billion in human genome research. Never knew so found interesting where they are

“BBC Science and Technology” section titled -

cant figure out how to BBC page link to article on cell …

“The mystery of the human genome’s dark matter”

“The remaining 98% of our DNA became known as dark matter, (only 2% related to protein synthesis) or the dark genome, a mysterious melee of letters with no obvious meaning or purpose.

Initially some geneticists suggested that the dark genome was simply junk DNA or the rubbish bin of human evolution – the remnants of broken genes which had long ceased to be relevant.” … aka as dark genome.

““That was the moment where people started wondering, ‘maybe we have the wrong conceptualization of biology?’”

… wonder if 98% of rosa’s DNA is “junk” … point being rosa likely will continue to evolve and impossible maybe possible with dark genome junk and transposons …. :slight_smile:


First link is for the BBC article. It seems a bit out of date.
Much of the “non-coding” DNA codes for a vast supply of small RNAs that do much of the regulating of gene function.

Transposons are another busy business that are often targets for the small RNAs. They may control fasciation in the tassels and ears of maize. Without this regulation, the kernels would not be in tidy rows.

Then there are the “introns”, sections of genes that get edited out when a gene is transcribed as a strand of RNA.

These transposons are not always derived from infections. “Insertion Sequences” can be spit out by organelles such as mitochondria, and from chloroplasts in plants and Euglena. Even the nucleus can spit out some of these, now and again, allowing horizontal transmission among mitochondria, chloroplasts, nuclei and bacteria. The spread like juicy gossip.
Just recently I read about an antibiotic resistant bacterium that picked up two plasmids (loops of DNA spit out by … who knows what). They may then be passed on to other bacteria, so antibiotic makers should be on the lookout for new drugs.
The small RNAs are far, far, far more numerous than genes. Imagine a piano (88 keys) being played by more than 10000 fingers.
How many musical pieces can a piano play? I’d say that’s a fraction of the variations a well-stocked supply of small RNAs can manage.
Here’s a small biblio for anyone interested in the subject.

Txs Karl, right at my level.

Interesting as -ell, my comprehension way behind … the impression l get now is there seems to be a large margin for natural chaos and unscripted change both negative and positive, based on my old simplified ordered controlled paradigm for DNA, “genes” and replication … eg natural not unnatural such the odd 60’s gamma ray - wrong chemical formula impingement in the wrong place … and bacterium and virus seemingly random evolution only after chased to near extinction.

Becoming bubble boy remake not very attracted.