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junk DNA

  1. segments of DNA that have no apparent genetic function.


junk DNA

noun

  1. DNA that consists of repeated sequences of nucleotide and has no apparent function


junk DNA

/ jŭngk /

  1. DNA that serves no known biological purpose, such as coding for proteins or their regulation. Junk DNA makes up the vast majority of the DNA in the cells of most plants and animals, composing, for example, about 95 percent of the human genome.


“junk” DNA

  1. Segments of DNA along a chromosome that are not genes , do not code for anything that we know of, and whose purpose we do not understand. Approximately ninety-five percent of the human genome falls into this category. The term junk may be misleading, however, as this DNA may have other functions, such as regulating genes during development.


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Notes

Some scientists speculate that junk DNA may be archaic material left over from an earlier stage of evolutionary development.
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Word History and Origins

Origin of junk DNA1

1990–95
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Example Sentences

Damon Lisch, a plant geneticist at Purdue University who studies transposable elements and was not involved with the study, said he hopes this study pushes back against a widespread but misguided notion that transposons are “junk DNA.”

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