ENCODE project yields breakthrough on "junk" DNA

Scientists working on the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements have found that bits of DNA once referred to as "junk" contain millions of gene switches that play crucial roles in controlling cell, organ and other tissue behavior. The gene switches are linked to a variety of diseases and physical characteristics. The project involves more than 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the world, and the latest results are reported in Nature, Genome Research, Genome Biology, The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Science.

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