The Latest Mystery in The World Of Genetics ‘Dark DNA’


They dubbed these elusive sequences “dark DNA.” Sounds spooky, but the reality is this dark DNA may be more of a blind spot in our DNA sequencing technology than anything else. A closer look at the rodent’s genome found a heavily mutated section with abnormally high amounts of guanine and cytosine, two of DNA’s four base molecules, called G and C for short. It turns out GC rich sequences are difficult to detect, so the researchers missed this mutated pocket of DNA at first.

rat dna

 

This dark DNA raises questions about how quickly mutations occur, and what genes we may have missed when we sequenced other genomes like our own Which is crazy to think that there could be more DNA in us than we realized, especially when you consider that we only know what about 1 to 2% of the stuff we have found does. Those sections code proteins that have some function. The other 98%-ish doesn’t make anything and so we don’t know why it’s there.

dark DNA


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