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Running head: APPLICATION OF JUNK DNA
Application of Junk DNA
APPLICATION OF JUNK DNA
Application of Junk DNA
The term junk DNA was popularised by Susumu Ohno in the year 1972, and was first
used around the 1920s. According to Ohno, the mutations caused by deleterious mutations
limited the number of loci that were functioning, and that could be expected when a normal
mutation rate was considered. In genetics the term junk DNA refers to the regions of the DNA
that are not coving thus are noncoding. The structure of the DNA is such that it has coding
instructions and they are used in the creation of proteins in the cell but the DNA contained in a
cell is a lot meaning that not all the genetic sequences will be in the DNA molecule and code for
protein. Non-coding RNA components are produced by the non-coding DNA. At the same time,
other DNA regions are not transcribed into proteins, and they are also not used in the production
of RNA molecules which makes their function rather ambiguous to scientists. At the beginning
of studying the function and the nature of junk DNA, many scientists and researchers believed
that junk DNA did not have any function. However, over the years through repeated research and
investigation, it has been revealed that junk DNA does provide some functionality. Some of the
studies even claim that due to evolution some of the junk DNA fragments have undergone the
process of exaptation which can be described as the acquisition of function by natural selection.
It was also noted that the amount of coding against the noncoding DNA defers from one species
to another with humans having 98% of it noncoding and in bacteria only 2% being noncoding. In
discussing the nature and the functional activity of the junk DNA, this paper will explore the
various applications of junk DNA in biology, medicine, engineering, and society.
Application in Biology
Biology can be perceived as the study of life and life forms. The discipline has over the
years explained the mysteries of life in relation to protein machines such as the growth of
organisms from single cells to a whole ecosystem. Biology is therefore critical to understanding
life and evolution. On the other hand, evolution is critical to the continuance of life and species.
Evolutionary patterns help to understand some of the solutions that can be applied to de...