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Junk DNA : a journey through the dark matter of the genome

Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2015]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"For decades after the identification of the structure of DNA, scientists focused only on genes, the regions of the genome that contain codes for the production of proteins. Other regions that make up 98 percent of the human genome were dismissed as "junk," sequences that serve no purpose. But researchers have recently discovered variations and modulations in this junk DNA that are involved with a number of  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nessa Carey
ISBN: 9780231170840 023117084X 9780231170857 0231170858
OCLC Number: 899332106
Description: viii, 340 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: An introduction to genomic dark matter --
Why dark matter matters --
When dark matter turns very dark indeed --
Where did all the genes go? --
Outstaying an invitation --
Everything shrinks when we get old --
Two is the perfect number --
Painting with junk --
Playing the long game --
Adding colour to the dark matter --
Why parents love junk --
Junk with a mission --
Switching it on, turning it up --
No man's land --
Project ENCODE : Big Science comes to junk DNA --
Headless queens, strange cats, and portly mice --
Lost in untranslation --
Why LEGO is better than Airfix --
Mini can be mighty --
The drugs do work (sometimes) --
Some light in the darkness --
Appendix: Human diseases in which junk DNA has been implicated.
Responsibility: Nessa Carey.

Abstract:

"For decades after the identification of the structure of DNA, scientists focused only on genes, the regions of the genome that contain codes for the production of proteins. Other regions that make up 98 percent of the human genome were dismissed as "junk," sequences that serve no purpose. But researchers have recently discovered variations and modulations in this junk DNA that are involved with a number of intractable diseases. Our increasing knowledge of junk DNA has led to innovative research and treatment approaches that may finally ameliorate some of these conditions. Junk DNA can play vital and unanticipated roles in the control of gene expression, from fine-tuning individual genes to switching off entire chromosomes. These functions have forced scientists to revisit the very meaning of the word "gene" and have endangered a spirited scientific battle over whether or not this genomic "nonsense" is the source of human biological complexity. Drawing on her experience with leading scientific investigators in Europe and North America, Nessa Carey provides a clear and compelling introduction to junk DNA and its critical involvement in phenomena as diverse as genetic diseases, viral infections, sex determination in mammals, and evolution. We are only now unlocking the secrets of junk DNA, and Nessa Carey's book is an essential resource for navigating the history and controversies of this fast-growing, hotly disputed field." -- Publisher's description

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