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Science File | IN BRIEF

Function Found for Junk DNA

June 05, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Junk DNA may not be so useless after all. Scientists coined the term to describe the genetic wasteland within the human genome that consists of long stretches of DNA for which there was no known function.

But researchers from Harvard Medical School said Wednesday that within junk DNA in the yeast genome they had discovered a new class of gene. It does not produce a protein or enzyme to carry out its function. But when it is turned on, it regulates a neighboring gene.

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