Unique collaborative effort proves value of some “junk” genes

January 21, 2014

From his days in graduate school, through his postdoctoral fellowship, and now as a Harvard Stem Cell scientist, John Rinn, PhD, has been digging through the bulk of the human genome, challenging the prevailing belief that the bulk of the genome is biological “junk.” Ever since the Human Genome Project decoded the genome, the prevailing view has been that only the two percent of the genome making proteins, the building blocks of cells, was important. The rest of the genome was deemed not functional, or “junk.”