By limiting what cells can become. From Joshua A. Krisch at The Scientist:
The results suggest that a particular class of noncoding RNA works in concert with the latent viral elements of the genome work to limit stem cell potential, and that removing a key miRNA can lift this limitation—at least in vitro.
“At first we were a bit dubious about our findings,” said coauthor Lin He, an associate professor of developmental biology at the University of California, Berkeley. “In this experiment, we definitively show that the progeny [of embryonic stem cells] can go to both embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages. That was a pretty incredible moment for us, because we actually convinced ourselves that this finding was real.” More.
See also: “Junk RNA” plays key role in helping cells respond to stress
“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
Follow UD News at Twitter!