The researchers from Oxford University in their study found that only 8.2 percent of the human genome are presently functional or doing something important.
The study was authored by Chris M. Rands, Stephen Meader, Chris P. Ponting and Gerton Lunter and was published in journal PLOS Genetics on 24 July 2014. The study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.
Findings of the Study
Purpose of the Study
The study was conducted to clearly identify what percentage of human genome sequence is functional or is of some use since the complete human DNA sequence was mapped ten years ago. Although Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project in 2012 had identified 80 percent of human genome to be functional but it was mired in controversy.
It was argued that the biochemical definition of function was too broad. This was just because an activity on DNA occurs; it does not necessarily have a consequence. For functionality, one needs to demonstrate that an activity matters.
Nearly 99% of the human genome does not encode proteins, and while there recently has been extensive biochemical annotation of the remaining non-coding fraction, it remains unclear whether or not the bulk of these DNA sequences have important functional roles.
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When: 24 July 2014
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