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Amazing! A new way “junk DNA” is useful, admitted

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From ScienceDaily:

Their findings, published recently in the journal eLife, indicate that this genetic “junk” performs the vital function of ensuring that chromosomes bundle correctly inside the cell’s nucleus, which is necessary for cell survival. And this function appears to be conserved across many species.

This pericentromeric satellite DNA consists of a very simple, highly repetitive sequence of genetic code. Although it accounts for a substantial portion of our genome, satellite DNA does not contain instructions for making any specific proteins. What’s more, its repetitive nature is thought to make the genome less stable and more susceptible to damage or disease. Until fairly recently, scientists believed this so-called “junk” or “selfish” DNA did not serve any real purpose.

“But we were not quite convinced by the idea that this is just genomic junk,” said Yukiko Yamashita, research professor at the LSI and lead author on the study. “If we don’t actively need it, and if not having it would give us an advantage, then evolution probably would have gotten rid of it. But that hasn’t happened.”Paper. (public access) – Madhav Jagannathan, Ryan Cummings, Yukiko M Yamashita. A conserved function for pericentromeric satellite DNA. eLife, 2018; 7 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.34122 More.

He is right if evolution is purpose-driven. If not, Darwinism is amazing. It both retains vast varieties of information and discards it, without purpose.

Dealing with Darwin tenure in biology is the next big problem.
See also: Researcher: Dark DNA raises fundamental questions about evolution

Hat tip: Heather Zeiger

PaV - Larry says that 90% of our genome is junk. He has recent blog posts about it. ET
URL for the PDF in (4) and (5) respectively: http://symposium.cshlp.org/content/early/2018/03/31/sqb.2017.82.034504.long https://elifesciences.org/articles/34122 OLV
Is this related to the topic? elife-34122-v1.pdf OLV
Is this related to the topic? sqb.2017.82.034504.long.pdf OLV
Hmmm, as a devout cynic I suspect the "junk DNA" advocates of a level of projection. When they accuse believers of having a God of the Gaps but every closed gap in our knowledge and/or understanding cuts off another branch of their philosophy, one begins to perceive that they have a Metaphysic of the Gaps of their own. ScuzzaMan
This DNA is about the "junkiest" of the 'junk.' And, yet, they found function. And not just any-old function, but critical function. One wonders what Larry Moran is thinking these days. I'll point out that in the past, when confronted with this "junkiest of the junk" in terms of function, I speculated that it might have a 'structural' function, which appears to be what the authors discovered. I was led to this possibility entirely by ID considerations. It's interesting that the authors were guided by what "evolution" would do, or not do, yet their conclusion verifies ID predictions. They don't see the irony apparently. PaV
Semi-OT: I've noticed an odd bit of earthworm behavior that MIGHT be explained by epigenetic acquired learning. http://polistrasmill.blogspot.com/2018/04/y-no-worm-on-walk.html polistra

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