The Notebook.

A bunch of possibly interesting things.

Junk DNA

Junk DNA

Price (as of writing): £8.99

Publisher Synopsis: 

For decades, 98 per cent of our DNA was written off as 'junk' on the grounds that it did not code for proteins. From rare genetic diseases to Down's Syndrome, from viral infections to the ageing process, only now are the effects and the vital functions of these junk regions beginning to emerge. Scientists' rapidly growing knowledge of this often controversial field has already provided a successful cure for blindness and saved innocent people from death row via DNA fingerprinting, and looks set to revolutionise treatment for many medical conditions including obesity. From Nessa Carey, author of the acclaimed The Epigenetics Revolution, this is the first book for a general readership on a subject that may underpin the secrets of human complexity - even the very origins of life on earth.



I originally purchased this book as a follow up to Epigenetics Revolution and immediately I noticed the similarities. Both are similar both in content and in style (which in all honesty is to be expected given they are about very related topics by the same author). Like with the Epigenetics Revolution I was impressed - Carey explained the main theories behind epigenetics well in a manner which was easily readable, and provided examples of different effects of the different modifications. The Agouti mice made a reappearance, however the explanation of these was very similar to in Epigenetics Revolution.

I found the information within the book interesting as it followed on from genetics at school in which introns are taught as being useless waste - Carey does a good job of dispelling this and providing an explanation of what they do and how they affect life - from telomeres and longevity to inactivation of the space X Chromosome in females by Xist and Tsix.


I am currently reading 'The Blind Watchmaker' by Richard Dawkins but will probably not write a review on this (it has been out for ages and is pretty well documented).