DNA breakthrough could help cure diseases

We're going to find out ways of helping us understand disease, avoid disease, prevent disease and perhaps cure disease in different ways from this, but I'm not going to be able to put my finger on this disease or that disease right now.

It's clinical researchers and doctors who are going to be the people who I think will benefit from this. I'm a kind of servant to that community of researchers.

– Dr Ewan Birney, chief analysis co-ordinator on the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project

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'Junk' DNA could fight disease

Scientists have discovered that huge parts of our DNA - which were previously thought to have no obvious use - could in fact be essential in keeping life going. So-called 'junk' DNA contains millions of 'switches' which can turn genes on or off.