Junk DNA

Richard Gordon gordonr at cc.UManitoba.CA
Sun Aug 6 14:02:13 EST 1995


Dear Frank,
Great minds think alike. I wrote some time ago:

Excerpt from: Gordon, R. (1995). The Hierarchical Genome and 
Differentiation Waves: Novel Unification of Development, Genetics, and 
Evolution (Singapore: World Scientific), in prep.

Proposition 84: the probability of gene duplication splitting essential 
segments of DNA, such as those used for differentiation trees, is reduced 
when there is a large background of functionless DNA, and may indicate an 
evolutionary advantage for such "junk" DNA.

Can you send me a preprint of your TR?
Thanks, -Dick Gordon[Aug6,95]

On 2 Aug 1995, Frank Francone wrote:

> In <Pine.SUN.3.91.950717090838.27936A-100000 at chuma>
> karl at CHUMA.CAS.USF.EDU ("Stephen A. Karl") writes: 
> >
> >
> >  As far as "junk DNA" is concerned, I think it is always good to
> remember...
> >
> >  There are two types of non-coding DNA of unknown origin or purpose:
> >
> >	1) Garbage DNA and
> >	2) Junk DNA
> >
> 
> I have been involved in evolutionary computation for the last couple of
> years.  As in biology, variable length EC genomes accumulate Junk Code.
> 
> Rencently, my colleagues and I looked at this phenomenon in EC and found
> some strong indications that the "Junk" code in EC genomes plays an
> important role in artificial evolution.
> 
> In our model, an example of junk code would be IF 2 < 1 then . . .
> 
> Our working hypothesis is that the "Junk" code plays a structural role
> in allowing the genome to direct the attention of the crossover
> operator to locations where high fitness blocks of code are not
> disrupted.  So far, ou
> r results are consistent with this hypothesis. (The work is available
> as a TR out of Univ Dortmund and will be availible in "Advances in
> Genetic Programming II" due out sometime this year.)
> 
> I am quite interested in a biologist's perspective on this subject. Is
> there any evidence that the junk code in DNA plays any kind of a
> structural role in crossover, mutation?  Is there any evidence, however
> indirect, tha
> t the junk code plays any role whatsover?
> 
> Regards
> 
> Frank Francone



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