posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 11:23 PM
Originally posted by d1k
Very cool and very believable. I wonder what that junk DNA is and if anyone is looking at it.
Its non coding dna, that is, it doesn't get translated and transcribed inot proteins; hence the name 'junk'. It was thought that it was a
meaningless load on the genome, a waste. For a while now tho workers in the field have been looking at the posibility that its involved in whats
called 'epigenetics'. That is, that it might control the rate at which actual coding dna is transcribed, or switch genes on and off and the like.
It looks like the orignal article is suggesting that a message has been coded in it. The only problem with this is that
- Junk Dna is subject to drift (it's sequence changes)
- its in almost all organisms
So it wouldn't be able to actually hold a message, and it doesn't seem to be something 'aliens' or whatever inserted into the human genome. And,
again, if it had been inserted into the genomes of very primitive organisms at the begining of life on earth, then by now it would've been altered
drastically by neutral drift and the like. Its definitely not a good way to encode a message to 'us'. If the aliens wanted us to realize that they
are there, then the methods SETI uses would be the most rational. The ability to detect the transmissions that seti looks for are probably basically
(in the grande scheme of things anyway) of the same technological level as the ability to read a genome and analyse it for coded patterns, so its not
like a civilization needs to be particularly more advanced than society is now in order to do this. And, again, any message in the genome is going to
be altered quite abit and wouldn't have any guarentee of being there when intelligent life develops the technology to find it in the first place.