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[mass noun] DNA that does not code for a protein, usually occurs in repetitive sequences of nucleotides, and does not seem to serve any useful purpose.
- ‘Most of the insertions and deletions Britten studied occur in long stretches of so called junk DNA, which includes no functioning genes.’
- ‘Zimmer also brings up the argument that simply by making the genome bigger that junk DNA may serve a useful function by making cells the correct size.’
- ‘And the mouse's smaller number of base pairs may simply stem from that animal's ridding its genome more effectively of so-called junk DNA sequences than humans did.’
- ‘There may be yet more genetic variations waiting to be discovered and some of the regions now thought to contain junk DNA may be serving some as-yet-undiscovered regulatory purposes.’
- ‘He says the idea of using stretches of junk DNA to track genes was well-established by the mid-80s.’
- ‘Much of the remaining junk DNA in our genome may also turn out to be former transposable elements that have mutated beyond recognition.’
- ‘To me however, the most interesting components of junk DNA are the mobile genetic elements, also called jumping genes or transposons.’
- ‘Since junk DNA does not code for proteins, mutations can accumulate within it without natural selection weeding them out.’
- ‘Our human genome is about 90% junk DNA, which comes mostly from viruses.’
- ‘Ohno also proposed that a large proportion of the mammalian genome is noncoding or junk DNA.’
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