junk DNA

Rcjohnsen rcjohnsen at aol.com
Tue Apr 18 13:11:56 EST 2000

<< Subject: Re: junk DNA
From: iayork at panix.com  (Ian A. York)
Date: Tue, Apr 18, 2000 12:37 PM
Message-id: <8dhkv3$2sd$1 at news.panix.com>

In article <20000418002618.12411.00000938 at ng-ck1.aol.com>,
Rcjohnsen <rcjohnsen at aol.com> wrote:
>   I have over 20 pages of abstracts on alu sequences.  If they are not
>important then why do they comprise such a large amount of our DNA?  Just
>for the ride?  That may be your conclusion, but I think it premature and 
>an open question.

If herpes simplex virus isn't an important and functional part of our
genome, why is it such a large proportion of our neuronal DNA? If rust
isn't an important and functional part of my car, how come there's so much
of it? >>

Maybe your municipality uses too much road salt or you don't use the car wash
often enough, or that you didn't undercoat your car or any combination of the
three!  But you analogy between living and non-living things may be specious.
   In reality I assume nothing but there is the possibility it is there for a
reason.  And then perhaps not.  In an earlier post I mentioned that is not yet
settled but an still an open question.
  In viruses, it may not be advantageous to us but advantageous to the virus. 
'What is one man's poison is another's treasure.'....to continue the specious
argument.  But if those junque sequences interrupt a vital gene function in
developemt or change the gene's expression, I would expect them to be selected
for or against depending on the circumstances.  If, on the other hand, their
insertion caused a time change in gene expression or even enhanced expression I
would expect a similar result--selection for or against the insertion or
deletion.  And you're right in the sense that if it causes no change either on
insertion or deletion then it might be defined as junque.

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