Explained in nine papers in Nature
Less than 2% of the human genome encodes proteins1. A grand challenge for genomic sciences has been mapping the functional elements — the regions that determine the extent to which genes are expressed — in the remaining 98% of our DNA. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project, among other large collaborative efforts2–4, was established in 2003 to create a catalogue of these functional elements and to outline their roles in regulating gene expression. In nine papers in Nature5–13, the ENCODE consortium delivers the third phase of its valuable project…
This yet-to-be-completed encyclopedia has already become a quintessential tool for understanding gene regulation and genetic predisposition to disease. In the upcoming fourth phase of the ENCODE project, we would be excited to see a systematic assessment of whether the catalogued CREs actually performed the functions inferred on the basis of histone modifications and bound proteins; this could be achieved using high-throughput functional-genomic technologies. The continued expansion of ENCODE to wider biological contexts (such as disease samples and rare cell types) at single-cell resolution would help researchers to use genomic information to diagnose and prevent diseases.Chung-Chau Hon & Piero Carninci, “Expanded ENCODE delivers invaluable genomic encyclopedia” at Nature
Readers may also remember ENCODE from a flap a few years ago when Darwinian Dan Graur announced that the ENCODE team had to be wrong in saying that there wasn’t nearly as much junk DNA as had been thought. After a while, Graur just wasn’t doing politeness any more.
Now that ENCODE has so much information to offer, maybe Graur should do politeness again and try listening.
Junk DNA: Dan Graur (Junk!), ENCODE Team (Not Junk!), And the Science Media
Is Nature needlessly annoying Dan Graur, the champion of junk DNA?
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