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289Fwd: What is a Gene? - Lecture in DC Friday 1/10/2014

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  • Kim Jordan
    Jan 6, 2014
      I thought some folks from this group might be interested in a genetics-related lecture, even if it isn't specific to genealogy.  :)

      Kim Jordan

      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject:What is a Gene?
      Date:Mon, 6 Jan 2014 22:42:53 -0500

      PSW#2326: What is a Gene?: How ENCODE is redefining genetic information
      Friday, January 10, 2014
      8:15 PM
      The term "junk DNA" was coined to refer to that part of a genome not 
      encoding instructions to synthesize proteins. Since less than 2% of the 
      human genome appears to encode proteins, the term applies to the vast 
      majority of human DNA.
      The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project (ENCODE) was launched to 
      catalog all of the functional elements of the human genome and where 
      they are located. Recently the project has produced surprising results 
      that challenge the concept of "junk DNA." These showed that more than 
      75% of the human genome is involved in some sort of biochemical process 
      including making RNA and binding regulatory proteins that control and 
      process this transcriptional activity. These findings raise important 
      questions, including: how much DNA in the genome really is 
      "non-functional"; what do we mean by biological functionality of DNA; 
      and - at the very core of genetics - what is a gene?
      full abstract