This was discovered by someone who was skeptical of the idea that our geomes are largely useless junk. From Nicholas Weiler at Phys.Org:
A so-called “jumping gene” that researchers long considered either genetic junk or a pernicious parasite is actually a critical regulator of the first stages of embryonic development, according to a new study in mice led by UC San Francisco scientists and published June 21, 2018 in Cell.
Only about 1 percent of the human genome encodes proteins, and researchers have long debated what the other 99 percent is good for. Many of these non–protein coding regions are known to contain important regulatory elements that orchestrate gene activity, but others are thought to be evolutionary garbage that is just too much trouble for the genome to clean up.
For example, fully half of our DNA is made up of “transposable elements,” or “transposons,” virus-like genetic material that has the special ability of duplicating and reinserting itself in different locations in the genome, which has led researchers to dub them genetic parasites. Over the course of evolution, some transposons have left hundreds or thousands of copies of themselves scattered across the genome. While most of these stowaways are thought to be inert and inactive, others create havoc by altering or disrupting cells’ normal genetic programming and have been associated with diseases such as certain forms of cancer.
Now UCSF scientists have revealed that, far from being a freeloader or parasite, the most common transposon, called LINE1, which accounts for fully 24 percent of the human genome, is actually necessary for embryos to develop past the two-cell stage. More.
“evolutionary garbage that is just too much trouble for the genome to clean up”? Yes, because Darwinism has predicted that.
Hat tip: PaV. He sent us this while travelling, adding,
LINE1, which makes up 24% of the genome is NOT “junk,” but an essential part of embryonic development.
The Darwinists are now just completely wrong. IDists predicted this. They pooh-poohed it. Well, they have five tons of egg on their face right now.
NOTA BENE: regarding the “transposons,” it’s quite interesting that it is involved with embryonic development since they are finding that “pseudogenes” are involved in brain (embryonic) development.
IOW, what’s “essential” is what the Darwinists called “junk” (And IDists called fundamental), and what was considered “essential” is only secondarily so.
Alas, no, PaV. Darwinists will simply say that Darwinism predicts this too. It’s all part of the non-falsification package. All that is lacking is a believing public.
The noted biologist Barbara McClintock, who died in 1992, discovered these odd bits of DNA decades ago in corn, and dubbed them “jumping genes.” (She won a Nobel prize for that finding in 1983.) McClintock’s discovery stimulated generations of scientists to seek to understand this bizarre phenomenon.
Some biologists have considered these weird bits of DNA parasites, since they essentially hop around our chromosomes and infect them, sometimes disrupting genes and leaving illness in their wake. But Miguel Ramalho-Santos, a biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, doesn’t like that narrative.
“It seemed like a waste of this real estate in our genome — and in our cells — to have these elements and not have them there for any particular purpose,” Ramalho-Santos says. “So we just asked a very simple question: Could they be doing something that’s actually beneficial?” More.
“Could they be doing something that’s actually beneficial?” To understand why no one wondered before, one must understand the power of Darwinian groupthink, enforced by wrecking careers. In short, ID guys Jonathan Wells was right and Richard Dawkins was wrong. So was Jerry Coyne. And Michael Shermer.
See also: Note: One junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness anymore. In a less Darwinian science workplace, that could become more a problem for him than for his colleagues.
See also: Junk DNA can actually change genitalia.
Junk DNA: Darwinism evolves swiftly in real time
At Quanta: Cells need almost all of their genes, even the “junk DNA”
“Junk” RNA helps regulate metabolism
Junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness any more.
Anyone remember ENCODE? Not much junk DNA? Still not much. (Paper is open access.)
Yes, Darwin’s followers did use junk DNA as an argument for their position.
Another response to Darwin’s followers’ attack on the “not-much-junk-DNA” ENCODE findings