A second code, hidden within our already known genetic code, is said to have been discovered by the scientific team led by Greek Professor of Genome Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, John Stamatoyannopoulos.
“We have found that our genetic code can be interpreted in two different ways, not just one,” said the leading Greek researcher to Greek “K” magazine, commenting for the first time on this fundamental discovery, which was featured in the winter edition of the scientific “Science” magazine and is predicted to change Biology as we know it.
Stamatoyannopoulos’ research revealed that the human DNA is structured differently than believed today. Until recently it was known that the human genome was divided in protein-coding DNA genes (genetic code), which create the genes of the human DNA and account for only 2% of the whole genome, and in noncoding DNA (functional code), which is responsible for other cell functions. The noncoding DNA maintains control over the functions of the genes and gives instructions on the coding of another type of proteins, which are called DNA-binding proteins. They are responsible for all processes of the cells, from the simplest to the most complex, for example, for the development and specialization of different cell types. “Without these proteins, genes would remain with folded hands, not knowing what needs to be done,” said Stamatoyannopoulos.
“While we knew about the existence of a second, functional, code from the 80’s, we couldn’t locate where this code was hidden in the genome. We now discovered that the functional code is not located in a separate part of the genome, but an important part of this information is written onto our already known genetic code. The functional proteins, therefore, also read our genetic code, but differently,” added the professor from Greece.
The researcher also said that this discovery could target the root causes of specific diseases, like diabetes and cancer, and help in treating them. However, more research has to be conducted on this topic, which would definitely take some years to be completed.
“I think that the lesson learned once again is that nature is inherently more intelligent than humans and surely, there are more things to be discovered in the coming years,” answered Stamatoyannopoulos on the possibility of the human DNA containing more secrets that still haven’t been discovered.