protective value of junk DNA

James A. Foster foster at
Fri Apr 14 12:22:49 EST 2000

Another use for "junk" (I prefer to say non-genic) DNA in mammals is
that it provides an environment for transposable elements.  Transposable
elements, which are DNA fragments that move from one location to
another, make up more of the human genome than the total amount of genic
DNA, so it's actually MORE accurate to say our genome is an environment
for these elements than it is to say that it's there just to make us.

One hypothesis for these elements is that they are DNA
parasites--examples of "selfish genes" taken to an extreme.
James A. Foster				       Assoc. Prof
Init. Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Studies    U. of Idaho              208.885.7062
pgp key at:

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