In what may be a path-breaking development in DNA research, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here have discovered the use of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) which are part of the non-coding DNA which constitutes 98 per cent of the DNA in a person’s body.
“Until now, we have known that 2 per cent of the entire DNA in the body codes for protein while the remaining 98 percent is non-coding, meaning it was perceived that there wasn’t much use of it. But, now we also know that simple sequence repeats (SSR), which account for 3 percent of that 98 percent, act as boundary elements in the DNA,” explained Jaya Krishnan who, along with some others, helped scientist Rakesh Sharma in the research.
Sharma said the new discovery also meant that the 98 percent of the non-coding DNA, which was considered nothing much, actually helped in regulation of the packaging of the genome which consists of gene-encoding proteins. A genome is the entirety of genetic information of an organism encoded by DNA sequence that serves as a vehicle to transmit hereditary information from generation to generation.