What is Junk DNA?

Chimpanzees share 99% of the same genes with humans despite their huge differences in appearance and ability.

What causes that difference? The researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology , US have found that although the sequence of genes in both humans chimpanzees is nearly identical, the animals have certain gaps in their genome. In Humans, those gaps are filled with “junk DNA”.

For years, scientists assumed that this junk DNA did very little. By definition, the sequences have had no known biological functions, such as encoding for protein sequences. Junk DNA or noncoding DNA are the components of DNA sequences that do not encode for protein sequences. Earlier, they were suposed to be non-functional, but now research indicates that these bits of seemingly random code act as important regulators within the human genome, serving as on and off switches, activating important genes and regulating how they are expressed. Please note that the term Junk DNA is also outdated now. Now there are evidences that indicate that many “junk DNA” sequences useful to some extent.

Download GKToday's Android App for Current Affairs updates and quizzes.