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Sunday, May 07, 2023

Chapter 5: The Big Picture

Here's a link to a summary of what's in Chapter 5. It lists the main components of the human genome and concludes that less than 10% of the genome is functional. In other words, 90% of your genome is junk!

Chapter 5: The Big Picture


Neil Taylor said...

Is there an error on p131-132. At the bottom of p131, top of p132 it lists the amount of the genome consisting of SINEs, LINES, LTRs retrotransposons and DNA transposons and gets a total of 47%. The next paragraph it says "I will assume the roughly 55% is split 25:30 between introns and the rest of the genome". I am possibly misunderstanding, but why aren't the two percentages the same (47% & 55%). I don't understand why they are different.

Larry Moran said...


Transposons occupy about 47% of the genome and viruses take up about 9%. In the second paragraph on page 132 I'm talking about the amount of the genome devoted to both transposons and viruses (roughly 55%).

John Harshman said...

Doesn't 47 + 9 = 56?

Larry Moran said...


Yes, 47 + 9 =56. Also 47 + 9 = roughly 55.

The values of these estimates changed frequently as I was writing the book and it was difficult to constantly update all the references throughout the book. This is why I said "roughly" in order to avoid changing all the values in Table 5.1 and elsewhere. (A estimated ratio of 25:30 seems more appropriate to me than 26:30 or 25:31.) The important point is that you can't count introns and transposons as independent contributions to junk. I think that's the important point, don't you?