Researchers find clues about aging in \”junk\” DNA
In the past, it was thought that more than 60% of the genome of humans were \”junk DNA\”, which served no function in human development. Colorado State University’s recent research challenges this notion, showing that junk DNA may be important.
The new study published in Aging Cell on June 5, found that a part of the noncoding genetic material called repetitive element transcriptions might be a biomarker for the aging process.
Tom LaRocca, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science and faculty member in the Columbine Heath Systems Center for Healthy Aging at CSU, led the study to investigate a growing body of evidence that repetitive elements–transposons and other sequences that occur in multiple copies in the human genome –may become active over time as we age.