7/12/2013 7:39:35 AM
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By comparing the human genome to the genomes of 34 other mammals, Australian scientists have described an unexpectedly high proportion of functional elements conserved through evolution. Less than 1.5% of the human genome is devoted to conventional genes, that is, encodes for proteins. The rest has been considered to be largely junk. However, while other studies have shown that around 5-8% of the genome is conserved at the level of DNA sequence, indicating that it is functional, the new study shows that in addition much more, possibly up to 30%, is also conserved at the level of RNA structure.
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