Monday, October 8, 2012

New Discoveries in the Human Genome

Two articles that my evolutionary biology professor wanted us to read:

Getting to Know the Genome
Only 1.5% of the human genome codes for proteins. Other sections of the DNA were regarded as "junk DNA" that has no known function in the past. It's not true now. Scientists have found that some sequences code for important RNAs, some sequences can bind to proteins and regulate the expression of other genes, and many gene-gene interactions were uncovered. The functional regions of the human genome can be over 80%, or even 100%! No more junk DNA!

Father's Age Affects Mutation Rate
My genetic professor also informed us about this new discovery. People used to think that genetic disorders are more associated with the mother's age, now scientists have found that the mutations contributed by older fathers is 4 to 7 times than mothers', especially mutations that cause autism and schizophrenia. The difference is due to how sperm cells and ova are produced.

I think I can't love my evolutionary biology professor more now.

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