In 1972, a term related to the parts of a genome sequence that don’t have a known function was introduced. Like physicists with the ‘God particle’, a lot of biologists wish they could take back the term ‘junk DNA’ because it has been colloquialized to mean something different to the public than what it means biologically. Sometimes it just takes time to know what things do, if they do anything.  A 2004 Nature paper removed ‘gene deserts’ – 0.1% of the mouse genome – with no effect they could find.

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