A new screening tool that maps ‘junk DNA’ for mutations that cause cancer, diabetes and dementia could revolutionize medicine, experts claim.
The tool, developed by Columbia University, explores the 98 percent of the human genome often referred to as biological ‘dark matter’ – because it’s as mysterious as space.
For years, we have written off this unknown mass of DNA as ‘junk’.
However, researchers warn it could hold the key to identifying how genes, and genetic reactions to the environment, can cause genetically inherited heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders.
The breakthrough could lead to new treatments and even cures for such diseases, which kill millions of people each year.
In fact, lead investigator Professor David Goldstein claims many scientists and universities are already interested in getting hold of the technology.