Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome

Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome - Nessa Carey Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome discusses the uses and functions of the 98% of DNA that doesn't code for a specific protein (i.e. "Junk DNA"). The topics covered in this book include retrogenes, DNA/RNA repeats, protein sequences, non-protein coding RNAs, telomeres, enhancers, promoters, epigenetics, 3D interatctions, splicing, insulators, centromeres and examples of the various diseases and disorders that can occur when "junk DNA/RNA doesn't function properly. The information covered in the book is very interesting and mostly easy to understand for the non-scientist and non-genetic specialist. There is a fair amount of technical detail, but it is impossible not to have technical details in a book that discusses the biochemistry of cell function and DNA expression. The inclusion of illustrative analogies and diagrams helps the reader picture the cellular functions and concepts. A rather nice overview of a complex subject.

NOTE: Author has irritating habit of insisting that the human appendix has no useful function and is a relic of evolution. This is an outdated idea. For those interested, the appendix:.
(1) functions as a safe-haven for useful/friendly bacteria when illness flushes those bacteria from the rest of the intestines.
(2) has more recently been identified as an important component of mammalian mucosal immune function. The appendix helps in the proper movement and removal of waste matter in the digestive system, contains lymphatic vessels that regulate pathogens, and might even produce early defences that prevent deadly diseases.