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Author's Note: Is the DNA between genes really junk?

It only took me one neurobiologist to relearn everything I forgot about DNA after my freshman year of high school. But it turns out that I'm not the only one who's still figuring out DNA: Researchers recently found that it was that former ne'er-do-well junk DNA (and not any particular gene itself) that contained mutations that might lead to the development of melanomas.

Related Articles
  • Hall, Stephen S. "Hidden Treasures in Junk DNA." Scientific American. Sept. 18, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hidden-treasures-in-junk-dna
  • Hamzelou, Jessica. "Global project reveals just how active our "junk" DNA is." NewScientist. Sept. 6, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/09/global-project-reveals-what-ou.html
  • Harmon, Katherine. "'Junk' DNA holds clues to common diseases." Scientific American. Sept. 5, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=junk-dna-encode
  • Jha, Alok. "Breakthrough study overturns theory of 'junk DNA' in genome." The Guardian. Sept. 5, 2012. (Jan. 24, 2013) http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/sep/05/genes-genome-junk-dna-encode
  • Kolata, Gina. "Bits of mystery DNA, far from 'junk,' play crucial role." The New York Times. Sept. 5, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hidden-treasures-in-junk-dna
  • Marder, Jenny. "Mysterious Noncoding DNA." PBS NewsHour. Nov. 7, 2011. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/11/junk-dna.html
  • McSpadden, Brian. "What's the difference between genes and DNA?" Michigan State Science Theatre. June 2, 1993. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.pa.msu.edu/sciencet/ask_st/060293.html
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "The New Genetics." National Institute of Health. June 9, 2011. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/thenewgenetics/chapter1.html
  • The New York Times. "Rethinking 'Junk' DNA (Graphic)." The New York Times. Sept. 5, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/09/06/science/rethinking-junk-dna.html
  • Soden, Marta. Neurobiologist. Personal correspondence. Jan. 24, 2013.
  • Walsh, Fergus. "Detailed map of genome function." BBC News. Sept. 5, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19202141
  • Winstead, Edward R. "A Conversation with Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos about ENCODE and Cancer Research." National Cancer Institute Bulletin. Sept. 18, 2012. (Jan. 23, 2013) http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/091812/page5