Called the danger of “junk” DNA


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American experts from Princeton and Rockefeller University have discovered that mutations in the junk DNA can cause autism spectrum disorders. About it reported in a press release on EurekAlert!.

The researchers analyzed using machine learning genomes 1790. Among the participants of the study were as people with autism and their healthy relatives: parents, brothers and sisters. Thus, the disorder arose from the chance of a new mutation and was not inherited.

It turned out that many cases of autism have been associated with mutations in non-coding DNA, that is, the part of the genome, which does not play a direct role in protein synthesis. Non-coding DNA, whose share in the human genome reaches 98-99% consists of intergenic areas, introns (inside genes) that have lost their function of genes (pseudogenes), repeats, mobile genetic elements (transposons and retrotransposons), viral elements and telomeres.

Despite the fact that non-coding DNA is often called garbage, in recent years it has become clear that it performs regulatory functions and determines the activity of certain genes. It turned out that mutations in non-coding DNA is almost as often a cause of autism, as well as mutations in the genes that violate the activity of proteins.

Video, photo All from Russia.


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