Junk DNA, Junk life: Mesmerized Beauty!
Junk food is used seldom but Junk DNA maybe your recipe of thought for the pleasure of happiness---
Dr. Nandadulal Sannigrahi
“Sometimes the most extraordinary biology lies hidden in the most apparently mundane of assumptions.”(Nessa Carey)
Now, going through all this content, you may ask me whether I was typing being asleep or a sub-human being like Chimpanzee has typed this. No guess is the correct-a conscious approach to beautify junk information as portrayed. May I ask you to endeavor to find any meaningful sentence from the above text one clue is left for you- the sentence recovered from these words will be three letters word to make a meaningful sentence. I am taking you to the ocean of Junk DNA. Junk food may be your stomach appetizer and you may have the pleasure of the taste of this so-called delicious dish at your chattering tables in the early evening. But if you intend to discuss the genomic dark matter of the most potential field of science with junk food, how do you endorse it? Simply to speak, May I draw your attention to Junk DNA in general and human beings in particular. Sitting idle means you are doing a lot. Before joining you in this discussion, let me explore the beauty of DNA and its location and function for the regulation of traits irrespective of its nature and paradoxical behaviour. The blue plant is the only living abode and it is the treasure of the variability of life forms as treated as global biodiversity. As far as species diversity is concerned, Earth’s current species range from 2 million and 80% yet to be explored. The plant world shares 310129 species with 281621 vascular plants, Fungi of 98998 species, invertebrates 12673, insects the largest with 1000000 species and chordates 64788 species and mammals 5487( Chapman, 2009). DNA is the most extraordinary script and this four letters script carries the code for organisms from E.coli to Yeast and from amoeba to blue whales including human beings. The total amount of DNA base pairs on the possible approximation of global biodiversity is 5.0*1037 weighing about 50 billion tones. Although life originates from an inanimate object the diversity develops through the passage of evolution since the origin of life about 3.5 billion yrs back. But before exploring the ballrooms of this castle, let us torch upon the constituents of the chromosome-the color body that bears the genetic traits besides the cytoplasm traits or maternal traits called cytoplasm inheritance with special reference to human beings, Homo sapiens sapiens. Human beings bear 23 pairs of chromosomes of which 22 pairs (Two is the perfect number!) take part in dancing during recombination and other pairs remain aloof in this regard as they are solely responsible to control the sex of the incoming progeny. Let us imagine that the genome is a book; There are twenty-three chapters of this book-each chapter is called CHROMOSOMES; Each chapter contains several thousand stories called GENES; Each story is made up of paragraphs called EXONS, which are interrupted by advertisement called INTRONS; each paragraph is made up of words, called CODONS and Each word is written in letters called BASES (Genome, Matt Ridley). The language of DNA is transcribed in the message of RNA and the message of RNA is translated in the garland of amino acids making protein- the mother of all phenotype characters whether the beauty of Mona Lisa(1503)the great painting of Leonardo Da Vinci or the beast of the lion. Humans and other mammals have 3 billion base pairs. Normally as genomes get larger, the organisms seem more complicated and even more interesting for example; Yeast has 12 million base pairs in 16 chromosomes with only 6100 genes. The size of the whole genome is not necessarily directly reflective of the number of genes. Indeed, as the number of nucleotides goes up, the number of genes seems to up in much-reduced space. The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans with 6 chromosomes and 19000 genes, fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster with four chromosomes and 13000 genes and human beings with 23 pairs of chromosomes with approximately 30000 genes for chromosome-based heredity transmission although it was guessed about 60000-80000 genes altogether. The entire human beings share 99.9% of our genome with the rest of the human race, each of us differs roughly 1 in every 1000 nucleotides from each other. Although it appears very small quantitatively(Small is beautiful), these are small differences but as far as the number of base pairs magnitude is concerned, there is more than 3 million base pairs difference between one genome with his/her neighbour genome. But our nearest relative as far as evolution is concerned; the difference between humans and chimpanzees is roughly 1% of the DNA sequence. Although there is a message on genetic sameness, we still bear a strong relationship with other subhuman beings and others. We share 90% genes with mice, and 85% of our genetic material with Zebra fish and fruit flies with 36%. Even the far-off roundworms share 21% of the genes with human beings, and the farthest relative E. coli presents as friendly intestinal flora with 7% of the genetic similarity. Let us turn our genetic relatedness with the family members. The mother and the biological child have an average of 1.5 million differences, between grandmother and grandchildren of 2.25 million base pairs differences while biological first cousins have 2.625 million base pairs differences. Interestingly, it is to be noteworthy to be observed that two randomly chosen individuals will have nearly the same genetic relatedness as biological second cousins who have approximately a 2.906million base pairs differences. So, in other words, the so-called familial concept is vague and on the contrary, all of us are very much relative to each other biologically. You may ask why such differences arise even between the family of mother and siblings or in the greater family of Mother Nature. The understanding lies behind the Choreograph of chromosomes to pulse the symphony of life. The human genome is the world's most incredible software program in which a single fertilized egg can create an adult organism comprising 1014 cells. Only a few can code information and the rest are the junk in your life –a long journey, you may find a little bit of creativity in terms of your total span of life. Do you suffer from lamentations? The DNA that you bear the heritage is mostly junk, so, why do you ponder over perfection? You may seem to sit idle simply doing nothing but you are doing a lot amidst your blunt and dark solitude. Not only you, rather all your biological relatives experiencing the same. The New Year may invite you to take new resolutions but you cannot overthrow the resolutions of junk life as it is impregnated within you. The junk information, in the beginning, bears only a single meaningful sentence- ONE EYE MAN CAN SEE YOU. What a paradox! -the mesmerizing beauty of life. You may ignore junk food for the sake of your health but have the appetite for junk DNA, a treasure of the recipe (virtue or vice!) of the evolution to ponder over in solitude.“The light radiate from the centre of darkness, that is thy glow.”(Tagore)
Dr. Nandadulal Sannigrahi
An ever worshiper of the magic of the reality of life garnished with the beauty of know-how & optimistic appetite.