Junk DNA could be rewiring our brains
'Junk' DNA inherited from our ancient ancestors could be rewiring our brains and altering our behaviour and emotions, study finds
- Half of the human genome is so-called 'junk' DNA that doesn't code for proteins
- Much of this comes as 'transposons' which change position between people
- Researchers from Oxford examined the expression of transposons in fruit flies
- They found that they are associated with genes that control brain activities
- These include functions like the formation of memories and the sleep-wake cycle
Some of our brain's activity could be being guided by so-called 'junk DNA' we inherited from our ancient ancestors, a new study has concluded.
The human genome contains all the instructions needed to build and maintain our bodies — however half of it appears to be 'junk' that doesn't code for any proteins.
Much of this mysterious extra DNA comes in the form of transposons — or 'jumping genes' — which can move around between people and appear in different places.
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