'Junk DNA' Genomics Intelligent Design

The complex truth about junk DNA

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One of the biggest fails in the history of science is smoothed out by PR:

“Genomes hold immense quantities of noncoding DNA. Some of it is essential for life, some seems useless, and some has its own agenda.” …

Cells use some of their noncoding DNA to create a diverse menagerie of RNA molecules that regulate or assist with protein production in various ways. The catalog of these molecules keeps expanding, with small nuclear RNAs, microRNAs, small interfering RNAs and many more. Some are short segments, typically less than two dozen base pairs long, while others are an order of magnitude longer. Some exist as double strands or fold back on themselves in hairpin loops. But all of them can bind selectively to a target, such as a messenger RNA transcript, to either promote or inhibit its translation into protein.

These RNAs can have substantial effects on an organism’s well-being. Experimental shutdowns of certain microRNAs in mice, for instance, have induced disorders ranging from tremors to liver dysfunction.

By far the biggest category of noncoding DNA in the genomes of humans and many other organisms consists of transposons, segments of DNA that can change their location within a genome.

Jake Buehler, “The Complex Truth About ‘Junk DNA’” at Quanta Magazine (September 1, 2021)

You may also wish to read: The Myth of Junk DNA

and

Junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness any more.

3 Replies to “The complex truth about junk DNA

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    I think we should just keep calling it “junk” DNA to annoy the arrogant and ideologically poisoned researchers and science promoters to whom everything is either fully understood or irrelevant. Honest and open researchers are far more humble and tentative in what they observe.

    So, I think we should also go back to calling endocrine glands (such as the thyroid) “vestigial” organs, abiogenesis as “spontaneous generation,” and living “fossils” as, um, living fossils. I also love the term, “missing link” because there are an infinite number of them and the “Tree of Life” even though it’s now considered obsolete (for example, see Graham Lawton, “Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life,” New Scientist, January 21, 2009.)

    -Q

  2. 2
    doubter says:

    The unmentioned gorilla in the room here is the mystery of how the immense bulk of all the information directing embryological development is stored and retrieved by the embryo; it evidently isn’t stored in the nuclear DNA, so where? This is a huge amount of data, much of which consists of timing information. Just consider for example the amount of stored data that must be required to develop the incredibly complex microstructure of the brain.

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Doubter,

    What happens is that Darwinists simply slather the gorilla in musta, coulda, mighta, and mayhav fantasies, trusting with childlike faith that Science will someday come up with The Solution.

    And then Darwinists tell us to “follow the science,” which has become nothing more than fantasy that they try to impose on everyone.

    There’s no evidence of functional information and design emerging out of random noise. But their rationalizations never die despite all the evidence.

    -Q

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