To find out the function of some of these highly conserved non-protein-coding regions in mammals, Edward Rubin's team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California deleted two huge regions of junk DNA from mice containing nearly 1000 highly conserved sequences shared between human and mice.Virtually indistinguishable, except for the mental telepathy with which they now plot insidious mathematical experiments using idle cycles in human brainwaves.
One of the chunks was 1.6 million DNA bases long, the other one was over 800,000 bases long. The researchers expected the mice to exhibit various problems as a result of the deletions.
Yet the mice were virtually indistinguishable from normal mice in every characteristic they measured, including growth, metabolic functions, lifespan and overall development. "We were quite amazed," says Rubin, who presented the findings at a recent meeting of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.
He thinks it is pretty clear that these sequences have no major role in growth and development. "There has been a circular argument that if it's conserved it has activity."
When you read stuff like this from scientists, of the "we've gone and radically changed a bio-form/ecosystem/food, but huh! Can't tell the difference, so I guess everything is all right..." Out of curiousity, when you read stuff like this, does the ominous theremin and moog music start playing your head to?
The build up is happening in my head right now. I'm waiting for the stabbing chords to start, any minute when the mice take over my brain to calculate the exact value of pi, and I crash my car.
Or keep playing videogames.
Or buy the videogame that really is a control program to keep me running the proper calculations.
Damn you! Damn you mice to hell!Posted by illovich at June 04, 2004 03:59 PM