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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.

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What does the new DNA research show?

  • The genes that control the colour of your eyes, or your blood group, or anything else about you, make up only 2 per cent of the total.
  • Until recently large amounts of the human genetic code, or genome, were dismissed as "junk" - DNA sequences that had no function.
  • The findings show that around 80% of the genetic code is actively involved in keeping life going.

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