It has been reported this week, in what is likely to be a very major outcome from the Human Genome Project, that it now seems that around 80% or so of the human genome is functional in one way or another. Whilst many people would assume that all of the human genome would be doing something, until very recently scientists thought this was not the case. Indeed, it has been known for some time that only about 2-3% of the human genome actually contained information that led to the production of protein molecules and thus to all the components of the body, whilst a further small percentage was involved in keeping the chromosomes structurally intact and still a further small percentage in the regulation of the activities of genes. The remainder of the genome was routinely referred to as ‘junk DNA’.
We still have a lot to learn about what it means to be human, but the Psalmist was certainly right when he wrote: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)