×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Human Genome More Like a Functional Network

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the nothing-wasted dept.

Biotech 304

bshell writes "An article in science blog says we may have to rethink how genes work. So called "junk DNA" actually appears to be functional. What's more it works in a mysterious way involving multiple overlaps that seems to be connected in some sort of network." From the article: "The ENCODE consortium's major findings include the discovery that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional molecules, called RNA, and that these transcripts extensively overlap one another. This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active. The new data indicates the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. In this network, genes are just one of many types of DNA sequences that have a functional impact. "Our perspective of transcription and genes may have to evolve," the researchers state in their Nature paper, noting the network model of the genome "poses some interesting mechanistic questions" that have yet to be answered."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

304 comments

Of course its not junk (5, Interesting)

thogard (43403) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501109)

Its what we in the programming field would call the Data Segment.

Re:Of course its not junk (3, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501151)

I doubt it. Analogies always fall down.

Re:Of course its not junk (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501225)

If an analogy were something standing up, it could fall down. But if it's a car then the analogy would drive away.

Re:Of course its not junk (3, Funny)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501515)

Its like lego. At a glance it looks like you've made a castle. But if you study it too closely you realize you've just put a whole bunch of blocks on top of each other.

Re:Of course its not junk (3, Funny)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501549)

It's like masonry. At a glance it looks like you've put a bunch of rocks on top of each other. But if you study it closely you realize you've just made a castle.

Re:Of course its not junk (4, Funny)

cdn2k1 (908657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501611)

It's like the Internet. At a glance it looks like you've made an insightful comment. But if you study it too closely you realize you've just made another redundant posting.

Re:Of course its not junk (3, Funny)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501897)

It's like a potato, because I like potatoes, and lobsters crawl the depths of the sea.

Re:Of course its not junk (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19502085)

I doubt it. Analogies always fall down.

Not if you use the right analogy. Sure, the GP used a pretty poor analogy which fell over before he even hit Submit:

Its what we in the programming field would call the Data Segment.

The entire DNA sequence is both data and instruction. Bad analogy right there.

A better analogy might be: "It's what we in IT would call error correction" because if you mess with the so called "junk DNA", it makes it nearly impossible to reliably make copies, just like with CDs....
no wait....
If your the regular DNA and the junk DNA don't match you should immediately inform the package maintainer....
Ummmmm, would you believe you can't play the DNA in a car stereo if the junk DNA is missing?

Altered at run-time? (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501251)

I thought a key point of the Data Segment was that you could alter it at runtime.

Don't know about your genes, but my personal preference is to keep mine read-only.

Re:Of course its not junk (5, Informative)

Founder of PostGenet (927571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501269)

The genome is fractal - governing fractal growth of organelles, organs and organisms. Even from a single fractal template (e.g. the algorithm of z=z^2+C) an enormously "complex" pattern, full of self-similar repetitions will develop. The "gene"-parts of the genome determine "fractal templates" of proteins, while the "PostGene"-sequences supply the auxiliary information necessary for iterative hierarchical development (architecture of complex protein structures). This concept/utility (FractoGene) triggered 300+ entries in slashdot in 2002 when an algorithmic approach first challenged the "gene/junk" dogma. The saga (including slashdot reference) is recorded at http://www.junkdna.com/ [junkdna.com] (as well as on http://www.fractogene.com/ [fractogene.com] ) Of course it is not junk... "junkDNA" is not a scientific term any more - but an important nickname for "the biggest mistake in the history of molecular biology". pellionisz_at_junkdna.com

Re:Of course its not junk (4, Interesting)

Grail (18233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501551)

In laymans terms, the "Junk DNA" provides the bootstrap routine and program code of an life form building nano-machine. The "Gene DNA" provides the instructions to the life-form-building-machine on how to make this life form a "human" or "fly" or "bacteria".

Papers such as A minimal gene set for cellular life derived by comparison of complete bacterial genomes [pnas.org] provide some first steps into understanding how all this DNA works together.

And to the grandparent post - I would argue that the "junk DNA" is not the data segment. For decades we've been thinking of the "Gene DNA" as the program when it is in fact the input data, while the "Junk DNA" is the boot loader, operating system and interpreter. But the machine doesn't build stuff and then move on (like a human-built factory) - it replicates itself, subtly altering the replicants to become more specialised along a growth path that will make one new machine produce stuff that will eventually become a femur, while the other new machine starts building stuff that will eventually become a gluteus maximus.

I've heard of a project where a company set out to create a synthetic bacteria based on the minimal possible DNA, which they could then patent, and use as a base for testing genome manipulation or gene therapy or some such nonsense. Not sure if that's fact or fiction though.

Re:Of course its not junk (4, Insightful)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501731)

Not quite. Your analogy appears somewhat broken.

Here's the question - is non-gene DNA /machinery/ or /DATA/?

If it's the latter, junk DNA would be conceptually closer to filesystem metadata (and maybe even "free diskspace" in as far as introns etc. go) than the OS.
I fail to see how it bootstraps anything. A DNA molecule does not to my best knowledge start proliferating on its own when put on agar. Cellular facilities are required. True, you build said cell facilities from data stored in genes, but still I can't find any underlying principle shared by the bootloader, OS or whatever interpreter on my computer and my non-gene-coding DNA.

FWIW, I'm a coder, a unix sysadmin and a (somewhat late-aged) biochem undergrad student, so feel free to dive as deep as you like into a technical comparison. I've been playing with comparison models of my own for a while (all of which have the annoying habit of breaking at one point or another) and am intrigued to hear more ideas on this.

It's Commnets (1)

slarrg (931336) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501409)

This junk code is simply comments. It's too bad we don't know what language they're in. ;)

Re:Of course its not junk (4, Insightful)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501467)

Its what we in the programming field would call the Data Segment.

Overlapping, independent sequences? It's quite obviously spaghetti code.

Re:Of course its not junk (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501559)

Overlapping, independent sequences? It's quite obviously spaghetti code.

An designer that thinks it's intelligent would call it spaghetti code, but evolution doesn't have any knowledge of such concepts. Or any concepts at all. It just does what works.

Re:Of course its not junk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501583)

THE SUICIDE'S SOLILOQUY

The following lines were said to have been found near the bones of a man supposed to have committed suicide, in a deep forest, on the Flat Branch of the Sangamon, sometime ago.

Here, where the lonely hooting owl
    Sends forth his midnight moans,
Fierce wolves shall o'er my carcase growl,
    Or buzzards pick my bones.

No fellow-man shall learn my fate,
    Or where my ashes lie;
Unless by beasts drawn round their bait,
    Or by the ravens' cry.

Yes! I've resolved the deed to do,
    And this the place to do it:
This heart I'll rush a dagger through,
    Though I in hell should rue it!

Hell! What is hell to one like me
    Who pleasures never knew;
By friends consigned to misery,
    By hope deserted too?

To ease me of this power to think,
    That through my bosom raves,
I'll headlong leap from hell's high brink,
    And wallow in its waves.

Though devils' yells, and burning chains
    May waken long regret;
Their frightful screams, and piercing pains,
    Will help me to forget.

Yes! I'm prepared, through endless night,
    To take that fiery berth!
Think not with tales of hell to fright
    Me, who am damn'd on earth!

Sweet steel! come forth from out your sheath,
    And glist'ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
    And draw my blood in showers!

I strike! It quivers in that heart
    Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
    My last--my only friend!

-- Abraham Lincoln (Sangamo Journal, August 25, 1838)

Re:Of course its not junk (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501539)

Wouldn't that be the other way around? The "junk" is the code segments, and the genes that code proteins are the data segments?

What network? (1)

lukesky321 (1092369) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501135)

The question remains to be answered, what routing protocol does it use?(RIPv2, IGRP, OSPF, EIGRP)

Re:What network? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501541)

I think they're trying to get IPv6 to work on it but it's not working lol. Oh well, I hear if you eat enough fiber, it upgrades your DNS network to fiber lol.

Messy Speghetti Help (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501149)

They need to hire some Perl and 60's-style-COBOL programmers who know how to read tangled code ;-)

error correction (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501157)

I don't think evolution would be very kind to unneeded material.
It's always been my hypothesis that the "junk DNA" has something to do with error correction.
After all DNA is most certainly a form of information, and resistance to corruption of that information should definitely provide an evolutionary advantage.

Re:error correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501171)

It is a pretty good design.

Re:error correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501229)

Regulation has always been known to be a function of "junk" DNA. The mechanism is unknown.
"junk" DNA is also clearly non-randomly affected by evolutionary pressures, so it clearly has some functional effect.

Re:error correction (4, Informative)

crashfrog (126007) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501327)

I don't think evolution would be very kind to unneeded material.

There's really almost no selection pressure against extra DNA sequences, particularly ones with no associated promoter. One of the proofs of this is the fact that the human genome is comprised more of endogenous retroviruses than actual functional sequences.

Re:error correction (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501581)

Could you explain your post for someone who isn't a geneticist/biologist?

Re:error correction (4, Insightful)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501931)

Genome space is damn cheap, just like disk space. The added tax on each cell to carry bloat is minimal. No matter how much is transcripted, we can analyze the sequences that we do see in the "junk". They are often very repetitive, with some sequences clearly deriving from viruses that integrate into the genome. The added selectional advantage of having the same (possibly now suppressed, but originally pathological) sequence, over and over, should be quite small, and the pattern and frequency of changes seems to indicate that most of these regions do not undergo any directed selection, i.e. mutations that do appear are kept at random, indicating "no value".

We have this huge disk, and most of it is malware or free space. The results in RTFA are interesting, but the general idea that we can measure the frequency of changes and statistically determine whether evolution is working on a specific sequence, should still be sound, so if they are indeed used, it is probably in a far less sequence-sensitive context (sometimes overall folds, sometimes just stochastic effects from the whole pool of junk transcripts affecting the balance in the nucleus).

Re:error correction (4, Interesting)

dch24 (904899) | more than 6 years ago | (#19502001)

crashfrog, you may have to correct me, but here's a start...

There's really almost no selection pressure [wikipedia.org] against extra DNA sequences,
This refers to the process in evolution where an organism fails to reproduce due to having a disadvantage that the other critters in the species don't have. So if a pig that has useless DNA sequences tacked on in its genome has a statistically lower chance of having piglets, there's pressure against those useless DNA sequences.

crashfrog is saying that for a reason he explains (below) extra DNA isn't going to have any effect on the organism's chances of reproducing.

particularly ones with no associated promoter [wikipedia.org].
A promoter is a marker in the DNA strand. The protein "machine" (a transcription factor [wikipedia.org]) that gets the "data" off the DNA and into the cell's outside chemistry has a "socket" that matches the "plug" formed by the specific pairs of the "promoter" marker. It's like the transcription factor searches for #! /bin/perl and that's how it knows to start copying off DNA code. (While on the subject, just because it has #! /bin/perl doesn't mean it will get executed, and even after it's been executed it might get a SIGKILL [wikipedia.org].) Promoters are not just found in DNA, but read on wikipedia for more on that.

One of the proofs of this is the fact that the human genome is comprised more of endogenous retroviruses [wikipedia.org] than actual functional sequences.
I'm not sure if I can do this last sentence piece by piece, so here goes...

An endogeneous retrovirus is a kind of virus that infects DNA. So when the cell splits, the virus gets copied along with it. For instance, some scientists think Multiple Sclerosis [wikipedia.org] is one of these retroviruses that has infected our DNA. So when we look at the entire human genome [genome.gov], all the pairs in the whole DNA sequence, and we look at where all the promoters are, it seems (according to current theory -- we may learn more about this!) at a first glance there are some pretty long stretches with no promoters. That is to say, they are either empty sectors on the disk, or some of them look like retrovirus DNA code.

How'd I do at explaining that? Like I said, crashfrog should probably amend my explanation...

Re:error correction (1)

jimktrains (838227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501337)

Exactly! There would be no reason to use all the energy to replicate all of that "junk" if it had no purpose. Even if it was just there to make the frequency of mutations in genes less, then survivability with it is enhanced over not having it. I love it when science throws out old ideas and brings in the new!

Re:error correction (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501945)

It's also fully possible that it's more a result of the opposite: the processes that tend to enlarge the genome have ALSO given us a rich variation in the gene pool, facilitating adaptation. The selection isn't made for large genomes, it's made for useful genes. The cost of a large genome alone is minimal, so it tends to keep growing until we have some specific bottleneck or disastrous effects where things might be thrown out on a major scale.

Armchair pondering (0, Redundant)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501403)

Note that I write without any real knowledge of the biology behind genes.

However, I could imagine that it could be beneficial for network effects to keep track of any dependencies for the different modules in an evolutionary algoriths. For example, let's make a wild guess that blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin also have some common "junk" elements. Since they are all related to the concept of "not much sunlight", it would be very useful to have some form of abstraction mechanic in the genes that could link them together.

Maybe it could be a way for nature to make groupings or "templates" of related attributes. Different environments may require different attributes, but for all environments there are some groups of attributes that are more efficient.

If genes have a mechanism to group related attributes, it would make it slightly faster to switch between such "templates". This could in turn cause a slighty higher chance to inherit a group of features that together has provided an advantage in the past, instead of just inheriting a random mix of the parents.

So maybe a way to keep track of previous successful combinations? Even if the "active" genes are highly successful in the current environment, a species might come in a situation where it would be beneficial to rapidly evolve to fit an environment their ancestors lived in.

Re:error correction (3, Interesting)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501621)

I've always suspected that "junk DNA" was the key to micro-evolution and speciation. I read an article once about how bacteria that could not metabolize lactose were cultured in a lactose-rich liquid. After about 60 generations, some bacteria that could metabolize lactose appeared. It turns out, they had non-functional genes for metabolizing lactose in their junk DNA, and somehow those genes were re-activated.

Re:error correction (1)

The Wooden Badger (540258) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501713)

I absolutely agree. With the way the human body doesn't maintain anything it isn't using, this is a very reasonable hypothesis, if not one of those moments where everyone needs to stop and say, "Duh!" Aging has just as much, if not more, to do with disuse than it has to do with calendar years. Muscle starts to atrophy very quickly, if it isn't used enough to warrant keeping it around. The brain behaves similarly. Use it or lose it isn't just a cliche, it's practically the law of the body. It is only logical to think that the so-called "junk" DNA is still around because it serves a good purpose for the survival and/or normal function of the organism.

Re:error correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501967)

Evolution wouldn't do anything at all to unneeded material. Evolution would certainly do something, or rather, nature would certainly weed out material harmful to an organisms ability to survive, by killing off such an organism and preventing this harmful genetic material from proliferating. Without the qualifier of "harmful to the organism", nothing will happen to unneeded genetic material.

Regarding error correction, that's handled by siblings/relatives of DNA polymerase and other assorted enzymes, but I don't know. "Junk DNA" may further facilitate that.

Also, error correction should provide evolutionary advantage, but mutations are an important source of variation, ie, new traits. For example, our ability to see multiple colors is due to multiple copies of a single gene being made due to replication error, and then further mutation in each of the new genes changed the color that could be absorbed by the proteins coded by the new genes (or something like that). In other words, it can also be evolutionary advantageous to not have 100% accuracy in error correction.

My hairbrained idea... (4, Interesting)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501167)

It's somewhat funny - I remember having this exact discussion with my genetics professor. I was a chem major who is now a developer.

It seems to me that DNA/RNA is "machine code" and data which runs on the laws of nature. It's a layer removed from silicon design, more akin to a self-modifying FPGA.

In other words we're so far only looked at the boot code and associated data. The "program" is what we were calling junk.

And it makes sense - if you think of the program as a massive recursion network which builds common parts (stem cells) and then organizes and specializes.

I know that's a simple bastardization ... but perhaps I've just looked at too much dissassembler. I will feel a little vinticated if this is proven.

Not aimed at YOU, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501791)

Dear Republican Scum,

You fools owe the liberals for everything you have. The great achievements in human history were all done by liberals. In fact, conservatives fought these liberals, because conservatives are for the "status quo." Liberals are all about growing in new directions.

We liberals said the Earth was round. You didn't believe us. We said the Earth was not the center of the universe. You excommunicated us. We said there were dinosaurs. You said it was a hoax. We said there were cavemen. You still don't have an answer for that one. We liberals said women and blacks deserved to be equal members of society. You conservatives fought us, and killed many of us.

We are the great painters, comedians, writers, playwrights, poets, songwriters, scientists, and lovers. Name me one conservative legend in human history who was regarded as a good person. Just one. You can't, can you? There are no conservative Mozarts - only Salieris. We had MLK. You had Bull Connor. We had Picasso, Warhol, Dali, Da Vinci, Michelangelo. You would have hung a few of these guys for being gay. Where are your artists? You have nothing. No artists. Because you conservatives are not creators. You are destroyers.

All of Silicon Valley and most of Wall Street is center-left liberals and progressives. The blue states in this country account for most of the country's wealth. We have Harvard and the Ivy League. Where are the great conservative colleges? University of Texas? Name the great cities of the world that are known for being conservative? London, Paris, Rome? Anyone?

You conservatives have been a drag on human development since the very beginning. Since Cain (the conservative, always trying to please Daddy) and Abel (the good son, the open-minded son). When you conservatives ruled the world, you hijacked Christianity and turned it into a ritualistic mega-church with a standing army. You massacred millions. There is a reason why that era was called the Dark Ages.

We liberals countered with the Enlightenment. The Renaissance. It is a fact that all the writers, all the artists, all the great men to come from this era were liberals. Many were seen as enemies of the Church and State. But as always, we liberals brought you conservative fools out of the darkness. We dragged you out, kicking and screaming, as usual.

We showed you the wonders of evolution, of science, and you hate us. We are showing you the miracle of stem cell research, the promise that it has, and you want to shut it down. We have showed you the dangers of global warming, whether it's man made or not - and you still refuse to believe.

We tried to free the slaves. And you fought us. We crafted the world you Republicans live in. Your 40 hour work week, getting paid for overtime, no child labor, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid... We created all of it. We created the very world you live in. The art you see, the movies you love, words on the page that stir your heart. And still you fight us.

You Republican fools would let a simple TV ad stop you from purchasing a product that would probably benefit you. As usual, you cut off your nose to spite your face. Typical. But completely expected. After all, when your heroes are Hannity and Limbaugh and Beck, you must live a sad, hateful life. Anti-everything that makes sense - and pro-everything that doesn't make sense.

I guess that's why you fools support this war, even though it makes us less safe. We're fighting them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here! Genius.

So, continue to hate the liberals and progressives among you. Just be sure to step out of the way as we lead humanity into this next century. Oh, and hate Steve Jobs and Bill Gates - two of the people responsible for you even typing on your computer. By the way, they're both big-time liberals.

Ok, but... (1)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501823)

...can it run Linux?

Can you dual boot DNA? Like, you can be a human and then go to sleep and wake up a penguin? Hmm, perhaps you'd have to die first since that's the human equivalent of shutting down. Though maybe a soft restart would do, just get kicked in the head hard enough that it turns off for a bit and then reboots. Like a coma.

Coma: Nature's fsck.

I never read the instructions (2, Interesting)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501169)

After assembling something, if there are any parts left over I simply declare them to be extra junk. With scientists declaring the same thing about DNA they can't identify, I guess the old saw is true, great minds do think alike.

Re:I never read the instructions (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501593)

And if there are holes or parts missing when you are done, just say they will be filled with dark matter.

interesting (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501173)

From the article:

The collaborative study focused on 44 targets, which together cover about 1 percent of the human genome sequence. or about 30 million DNA base pairs. The targets were strategically selected to provide a representative cross section of the entire human genome.

The ENCODE consortium's major findings include the discovery that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional molecules, called RNA, and that these transcripts extensively overlap one another.
actually if I remember correctly, there are 30,000 known genes which produce about 100,000 proteins [a little more than 3 per gene] which span a much larger amount of DNA that actually codes for proteins. genes have been known to code for multiple proteins since the Human genome project was completed. It has also been known that certain non-coding regions of DNA are not useless but in fact code for things like ribozymes etc. The article also talks about non-coding regions acting as a source for new structures. that is to say that the non-coding regions mutate and are selected for or against over time to form new proteins/enzymes etc.

I wish I knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501201)

... how to turn off the smirk genes in Brad McGehee's face!

Junk - is an inaccurate word (1)

srichand (750139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501203)

Apparently, genomes with large lengths of "Junk DNA", tend to replicate better than those without. These junk sequences, have a higher probability of duplication than other sequences. In fact, even with a very abstract (and very inaccurate) model, like the Genetic Algorithm, it has been experimentally verified that having "intron" regions in chromosomes increases the convergence rate of the algorithm. Although Nature is highly redundant, there is generally no such thing as a "vestigial" or wasted part of an organism. Sure, there's the human appendix, but it was there for a specific purpose. It just so happens we don't use it anymore. Another million years or so and we will probably have evolved to a state without it.

Re:Junk - is an inaccurate word (1)

doctorzizmore (999192) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501633)

I don't really know where you're getting your information from, but there are plenty of examples of "vestigial" or wasted parts in biology. Evolution does not lead to ideal solutions, it only leads to solutions that are good enough to survive. If junk DNA doesn't harm the organism then there is no selection against it, hence it will stick around (regardless of how ugly we think it is). Plus we've been evolving for a long time (and perhaps we've stopped). If we were going to lose the junk DNA, we would have done so a long time ago.

Re:Junk - is an inaccurate word (2, Interesting)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501675)

Why would we evolve to lose the appendix? Evolution doesn't work that way. It's not causing people to die, so it's gonna stay there. The only way evolution would get rid of it is if people mutated to have no appendix and they were somehow better able to reproduce. Human society being how it is, there isn't much that's gonna make you unable to reproduce. That's probably part of the reason we have so many genetic diseases now - they can be treated, so they don't kill you, so they get passed on.

The Selfish Genomicist (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501273)

My patent for "a functional network of multiply overlapping genetic transcripts distributed in 'junk' DNA" is on its way to the PTO.

The link. (1)

cyanyde (976442) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501303)

Once they find the link between conscious thought and cellular manipulation, we'll finally understand the placebo effect eh? Theres obviously a large number of layers between the concious GUI and the hardware/data/software manipulation.

Hmm... (1)

GFree (853379) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501323)

So called "junk DNA" actually appears to be functional.

Well that just proves it once and for all - it's not junk, hence it was designed properly.
Therefore, God exists! /runs /trips over cat

FUCK! /kicks cat, keeps running

Re:Hmm... (0)

zxnos (813588) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501451)

so i was walking in the park today and started thinking about the little goslings i saw. what was the first animal to fly? was it only one that achieved flight? in that case, way to go bird for sowing / accepting wild oats. perhaps a number achieved flight around the same time, ala modern scientific discoveries.

it made me think that you either have to accept that the world just 'is' and somehow evolution came up with flight and all the other mind boggleing things animals are capable of, or a creator is behind it all. seriously, did a proto-bird jump out of a tree to get away from a snake and discovered it could fly? flap its arms like crazy and achieve lift off? then breed like mad? or is there a creator? i think both take a leap of faith. i guess my point is that if we are going to accept that existence 'just is' why cant a god 'just be'. have you ever sat around and thought, just thought, how fucking wierd existence is?

just an idle thought. perhaps someone can shed some light on the evolution of flight, or other amazing things in our world. just rambling.

Re:Hmm... (3, Informative)

plunge (27239) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501555)

No one thinks that flight just popped into existence. There are all sorts of useful traits prior to actual full flight that the earliest flyers would have developed: heck, things like feathers pretty clearly evolved long before flight was even remotely possible, and likely for very different reasons than flight. As for the thing itself, there are lots of different adaptions and traits on the way to flight that are all useful: things like decreased weight for sprinting across the ground, and of course brief gliding from tree to tree without actually being able to fly.

Re:Hmm... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501949)

"seriously, did a proto-bird jump out of a tree to get away from a snake and discovered it could fly?"

Not sure about birds but it might explain flying snakes [flyingsnake.org].

Didn't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501343)

But, it sounds like most things in nature. Spagehtti code. One thing lead to another, and there it goes. You simply cannot tell what is essential and what is not.

"Intelligent Design?" Yous are real fucking morons.

Re:Didn't RTFA (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501615)

I don't believe that for a second. We don't understand it, but if you look at other bits of biology the more you understand the more you realise that they are probably perfect designs. Evolution doesn't need to understand effects in order to use them, unlike us.

So if for example quantum computers turn out to be useful, I'm sure people will find that neurons use quantum effects to squeeze a bit more processing power per unit volume of brain matter. And conversely if parts of biological systems seem a bit badly designed, it's most likely because we haven't figured them out yet.

Its just code that's there for debugging purposes (4, Funny)

timothydsears (167111) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501361)

These scientists have probably been looking at cells running in the debugger...

Re:Its just code that's there for debugging purpos (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501617)

1% of 30 million is still a lot of watch variables....

I just want to let the record show (1)

mateomiguel (614660) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501387)

I just want to let the record show that I TOTALLY called this in Biology 110 back in 1997. "What," said I to myself, "our genetic code, the code that cells go through the ultimate of pains to pass on in billions of generations across many years, is mostly junk? Bullshit!" Turns out I'm right. BOOYAH!

But does this help or hinder the argument for evolution? I thought junk DNA was supposed to be the byproduct of the evolutionary process. No junk DNA would seem to indicate more of an overall design to the system, no?

Re:I just want to let the record show (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501609)

no, it shows nothing of the sort.

You have to take into account the energetics of the system. Extra (x) = Extra energy (E).

We, who live in the petroleum age, take energy for granted, but when you have to get energy by murdering other animals and eating them, energy comes at a premium. Therefore, things that burn a boatload of energy have to "perform" (i.e. be really useful to genetic transmission) to become dominant features over time. So, the peacock tail is a huge expenditure of energy growing it and dragging it around, but it's a total babe magnet, so the genes prefer it with peacocks. For them, it's not a waste of energy.

Now, just blow it down into molecular scale, and your insight in BIO 101 was the same as mine: there is no junk - junk is a drag on the system, and systems that don't have that drag will prevail over those that do, terefore, it makes no sense to think that drag-laden ysstem would normally prevail. And with billions of years of effort, it only makes sense that rather than having "junk" we would have highly redundant competent over built systems.

So, like you, I am very pleased at these results. I can assure you, however, these are NOT indications of a designer, anymore than the symmetry of sand dunes.

RS

Re:I just want to let the record show (2, Informative)

plunge (27239) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501651)

"No junk DNA would seem to indicate more of an overall design to the system, no?"

Not really. Exactly how and why DNA keeps or discards various sequences, coding or not, is not something on which design or no design rests: it's a matter of the particulars of how DNA works (and it doesn't, actually, work the quite same way in every creature, which complicates matters even more: some creatures have much more robust ways of catching error than others, for instance).

It's also worth noting that the term "junkDNA" is a bit of a misnomer, and any good discussion of the term in biology generally notes it as such: it's possible that your 110 class basically just, well, sucked. If you do a PubMed search, you'll find this discussion goes back way farther than 97: biologists were noting that even apparently non-coding DNA had usefulness for mapping out genomes even back in the 70s.

Re:I just want to let the record show (1)

Cosmic AC (1094985) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501765)

"What," said I to myself, "our genetic code, the code that cells go through the ultimate of pains to pass on in billions of generations across many years, is mostly junk? Bullshit!" Turns out I'm right.
I feel the same way. It really is quite "commonsensical".

When I hear arguments about the meaning of race, I think of our still limited understanding of genetics. I wonder if there's more to our ancestry than we think. Do differences among ancestral groups really not matter? Are we all the same?

I thought junk DNA was supposed to be the byproduct of the evolutionary process
This just means that scientists misunderstood "junk dna" and conjectured that it was the result of evolution. There's nothing inherent in the theory of evolution that requires junk dna. As far as it indicating design, even if it were a byproduct, what would stop it from disappearing further down the line? What mechanism would make it inevitable?

sneaky (4, Funny)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501423)

Our perspective of transcription and genes may have to evolve
well played ... well ... played.

Original article here (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501431)

Here [slashdot.org]

It's the same article, really. The blog just copy and pasted the entire article from the government website.

Re:Original article here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501599)

what? you read BOTH articles?

junk genes was a junk idea (2, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501459)

Whenever I read something like this, I get a reminder how poor is biologists' comprehension of Computer Science, Information Theory, and languages. So, 90% of genes aren't "junk" after all. To anyone who does know something about the aforementioned topics, duh!

First, evolution would weed that sort of thing out in a hurry. Two organisms with genes that achieve the exact same thing, but one has a more efficient encoding? No contest! And, yes, such is possible. DNA isn't some mystical "super" language. It can't violate basic principles. There surely are many many ways to encode the same thing.

Second, ever tried compressing a DNA sequence? They don't compress very well! Meaning, they don't have much redundancy.

Third, why this obsession with zeroing in on a magic gene that causes X? Do they think the language of DNA is context free? Defects could indeed be expected to have no context, but for the rest-- which genes determine a person's blood type? Eye color? Skin color? Going about that task by trying to find the magic gene for something like that is like a person who never learned to read trying to figure out the plot of a book by trying to recognize patterns of letters.

They used to think the Romans were just "lucky" with their aqueducts. Found it hard to believe the Romans really could carefully and correctly engineer such massive projects.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (1)

plunge (27239) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501567)

No redudancy? We have MILLIONS of copies of the same short satelite sequence whose only known purpose seems to be to reproduce itself. This very article notes that most of what they found is HIGHLY redundant.

And it is NOT obvious that parts of DNA that don't code for anything useful would be weeded out: there are any number of mechanisms by which this would be prevented, and actually very little incentive TO weed anything out in any case.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501671)

Whenever I read something like this, I get a reminder how poor is biologists' comprehension of Computer Science, Information Theory, and languages.

Whenever I read a post like this, I get a reminder how poor is most techies' comprehension of biology, and more specifically, what biologists do.

Third, why this obsession with zeroing in on a magic gene that causes X? Do they think the language of DNA is context free? Defects could indeed be expected to have no context, but for the rest-- which genes determine a person's blood type? Eye color? Skin color? Going about that task by trying to find the magic gene for something like that is like a person who never learned to read trying to figure out the plot of a book by trying to recognize patterns of letters.

Okay, why do we care? Because finding the genes (note my use of the plural there) that influence certain traits is the first step toward understanding the overall processes that create them. Obviously this is most critical in the area of genetic disease, although it's interesting for everything else too. We've known for decades that most traits, including diseases, aren't controlled by a single "magic gene." What statistical geneticists try to do is find locations on the genome which have a strong relationship to the trait of interest. And we know perfectly well that there will be a whole bunch of these locations for most traits, and that some of them may represent genes and some may represent something else. The purpose is basically to give the wet-lab biologists something to zero in on.

Second, two of the examples you chose -- blood type and eye color -- are really terrible ones for your argument, because genetically speaking they're very simple traits (two or three loci each, IIRC) and, at least in the case of blood type, we know exactly where they are in the genome. Eye color I'm not sure about, and skin color is a little more complicated, but not a whole lot more so.

Please do not confuse the pop-sci "scientists seek gene for X" writeups with what really goes on in the world of genetic research. It has exactly as much to do with real science as TV portrayals of hackers have to do with real computing.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501693)

As a Grad student in CS whos research is in computational genetics, I get to attend some really "fun" seminars that hang on the fence between Genetics and CS.

The problem with pure CS profs is that they all want to abstract the problem as to have a nice mathematical definition. Well if we could do that properly, the problem would solve itself. It's funny, since it is mostly the AI profs who want to get into computational genetics.

You're right, the geneticists probably don't have a solid understanding of the underlying mathematics (statistics) or CS (algorithms/random processes), but their intuition is invaluable in most cases.

Oh, by the way, before you get on your high horse (as I am on mine), you should check out the human epigenomics project (contrasted to the HapMap project) and you would realize that they don't view the system as static.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501707)

DNA compresses quite easily. Ever wonder how billions of base pairs fit inside of a small nucleus? Chromosomes are just that- super compacted DNA would around proteins.The word of the day is chromatin. Ass.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (1)

SpeleoNut (610127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501777)

It is a common mistake to think that the evolution of a biological organism proceeds in a logical fashion. Mutations in DNA occur at random, the mutation is either tolerated or not tolerated. If it is not tolerated you die, if it is tolerated you get along fine. Maybe with your two organism example under certain circumstances having a less efficient encoding might put you at an advantage. Maybe being too efficient uses up your resources too quickly. Maybe if you rely on your one super efficient gene to get you through life you will be dead when it gets a mutation in it.

There are plenty of examples of of genes that appear to be almost entirely redundant. Many biologists will be able to tell you how they knocked their very important gene out of a mouse only to discover that the mouse survives will no ill effects. A lot of research goes into redundancy of genes. If you have a disease caused by a mutation in gene X which can be rescued by activating gene Y which serves a redundant function then that is going to put you at an advantage.

Perhaps I have missed your point for your third comment but; The obsession with zeroing in on the magic gene that causes X can be answered for you by anyone who has type I diabetes, or indeed any other monogenic disorder that has been treated following the discovery of the gene that causes the disease. Polygenic disorders are not a novel concept however we know less about them because it turns out that it is rather difficult to find out which variants of which genes are contributing to a disorder. If you like to donate to the complete sequencing of every human on the planet which would be the best way to solve this problem, I am sure someone will be willing to take you money.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501783)

Sorry, but how much real practical effect does "efficient coding" have on survival of the fittest.
The idea of junk DNA was a win for evolution, but its absence is surely a win for intelligent design IMO.

Re:junk genes was a junk idea (3, Interesting)

Grym (725290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19502059)

Whenever I read something like this, I get a reminder how poor is biologists' comprehension of Computer Science, Information Theory, and languages.

Be careful here--you might just show your own ignorance. "Biologists" is a very broad term that covers a vast array of topics. Sure, ecology might not require much knowledge of computers and information theory, but such things are required reading for fields like molecular biology or modern genetics.

First, evolution would weed that sort of thing out in a hurry. Two organisms with genes that achieve the exact same thing, but one has a more efficient encoding? No contest!

Not necessarily. Sure, that may be the case for single-celled organisms that rapidly reproduce, whose selective forces dictate sheer metabolic efficiency, but for multi-cellular organisms, like mammals, there's good reasons to believe that that simply isn't true.

Evolution isn't like a programmer. It isn't some transcendental force guiding a species to some aesthetically "perfect" design. The result of natural selection frequently isn't the "best" solution but rather whatever happens to work. In fact, many times adaptations based upon the selective pressures of the present are, in time, ultimately maladaptive for the species. A classic example of this is the trait for the disease sickle-cell anemia in humans which originally served to offer slight resistance to malaria but otherwise causes health problems and even death.

A more efficient genome doesn't necessarily mean greater fitness. Consider the following example. For a large multi-cellular organism, which do you think has more reproductive/survival significance: (1) a mutation that deletes a few bases of non-coding DNA OR (2) a mutation that brightens a metabolically-wasteful, colorful marking that attracts mates?

Second, ever tried compressing a DNA sequence? They don't compress very well! Meaning, they don't have much redundancy.

OR that they are mostly random. The current model of DNA/genetics states that most of the DNA in the human genome is non-coding, not (significantly) subject to evolution. As such, it gets shuffled around (i.e. randomized) during cross-over events and mutations. That being the case, one wouldn't expect it to be very redundant or compress very well.

Third, why this obsession with zeroing in on a magic gene that causes X? Do they think the language of DNA is context free? Defects could indeed be expected to have no context, but for the rest-- which genes determine a person's blood type? Eye color? Skin color? Going about that task by trying to find the magic gene for something like that is like a person who never learned to read trying to figure out the plot of a book by trying to recognize patterns of letters.

In short, because that's what's easiest. A holistic approach to genomics research like you're describing is not currently technologically, academically or economically feasible for a myriad of reasons. The science just is not there yet.

As an aside, I suspect we'll start to see a more integrated approach to genomics once the relatively low-hanging fruit of the one-gene --> one-protein research lines are throughly covered. However, I wouldn't expect such things to happen in our lifetimes given the difficulty of that aforementioned task and the sheer profitability of more conventional approaches. But what do I know? I'm "just a biologist." =P

-Grym

My god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501557)

It's full of stars

The universe as a hologram (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501571)

Our DNA as a hologram.
Would probably explain even more than just a network.

a little bit concerning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501577)

So supposing this is on the money, i cant help but think about all those genetically modified crops, and any kind of DNA manipulation for that matter, if it is so interconnected what errors could we be injecting into this "program"? I mean i can only guess what happens to my program when i send a pointer somewhere it doesn't belong. . . . .until it crashes that is

Next on the list (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501595)

Finding out that not all viruses cause "sickness," and that the RNA injection of "friendly" viruses is a source of evolutionary change.

I'm guessing a lot of the "human genome" is *airborne*.

--
Toro

Re:Next on the list (1)

ecbpro (919207) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501879)

Well actually you might be quite right, at least this is what some people believe. It is thought that viruses are THE major factor in evolution of genomes. For instance it is possible that actually viruses "invented" DNA to have a genome resistant to RNAses produced by their hosts (that was in the RNA-world, DNA is much more stable than RNA). Also viruses enhance the mutation rate of genomes and allow in some cases transfer of DNA from one spieces to another. Also a big part of the junk DNA in genomes possibly originates from viruses (transposons and retro-transposons which possibliy are remnants of viruses that once infected the host). Greetings, ecbpro

This is hardly 'news'.. (4, Interesting)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501637)

Why it was called junk before you'd ask? Because our definition of what is useful wasnt all that accurate.. just looking at so called open reading frames and declaring everything else to be junk does not work. There is also the problem with insertions in a gene sequence that are either not or alternatively used. There are plenty of sequences that are never translated (no proteins are made of it) BUT without them we would be missing a big chunk of regulators etc. 'Recent' findings like ribozymes, IRES elemtens, attenuation elements etc. are all not translated into a protein yet serve a very specific function. Some of this 'junk' also serves as a insulator / separator between various sequences. We may never be able to map every nucleotide to some function but declaring it junk from the get go was just looking to be proven wrong. Just look up NCBI and look for some good reviews on this topic ;)

ID's advantage of evolution (2, Interesting)

labnet (457441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501685)

Being one of the 0.1% of /.ers that believe God created mankind, (and that we have been in slow genetic decline ever since),
I thought when this 'Junk DNA' was mentioned many years ago that given time, that opinion will be reversed.
Thus there was an advantage to ID biologist who would have the opinion, 'cells are an incredible biological computer with beautiful design, this is great fun reverse engineering it all, and there won't be Junk DNA because that goes against God creating life, so lets keep looking for its purpose'

flame away

Re:ID's advantage of evolution (2, Insightful)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501981)

Why flame? A different point of view can lead to a break through. You initial hypothesis doesn't have to be correct to discover something useful. And who knows, maybe some day God (pick your deity here) will reveal him/herself to us unbelieving humans and we'll be proven wrong. Unexpected things happen every day.

Intelligent design predicted this! (1)

Robowally (649265) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501695)

So called "junk DNA" actually appears to be functional.

This is EXACTLY what the intelligent design guys have been saying for ages. ID DOES make predictions.

Whew. Got that off my chest:-)

DNA is the ultimate Nanotechnology.. (1)

JohnnyOpcode (929170) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501757)

Silly humans, can't you see that DNA is a very sophisticated piece of machinery! Well it is. And once you get a handle on DNA, you'll have a fairly good grasp of the universe and be able to leave your monkey brothers behind.

PLANET FULL OF IDIOTS..There, I said it, and it felt really good!

human gnome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501771)

The human KDE is *way* better.

Re:human gnome? (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501997)

Nah, kde looks better on my computer, the DPY on the "humans" just isn't life like enough for me, I need my HD plasma monitor....

junk DNA (2, Interesting)

jalet (36114) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501785)

"junk DNA" reminds me of the mysterious "dark matter", or "god" or whatever words we use to name something we know nothing about and don't understand, to give them some sort of magical status. It would probably be better to call it "unknown DNA", or "DNA Incognita", or even why not "Here be Dragons", to better remind us of how ancient maps were conceived (answer : it took ages to "publicly" discover all continents and isles).
One thing I'm sure is that Nature doesn't waste resources, only Humans do, so each yet unknown thing has certainely a very good reason to be there.

How do these newly published papers differ from... (1)

musicalwoods (1115347) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501803)

How do these newly published papers differ from what I just learned last semester from a 3-year-old genetics textbook? A single gene can encode for multiple proteins through mRNA processing (exon excision) DNA encodes for many various RNA strands (mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, snRNA, snoRNA, gRNA, pRNA...) DNA is very repetitious What new concepts do these new publishings offer, or are they just reaffirming whatever source my textbook originally used?

eventually they will figure out that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19501893)

The junk sections among other things contain quaternary structure that acts sorta like a giant difference engine to regulate transcription. But first they actually have to get over their pedantic little egos and realize that the field of genomics is Pyhrric at best.

oh...

the joke...

"I guess mother nature won't be fired for failing to comment her code sufficiently."

Do we even have the *full* genome mapped? (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501921)

I remember hearing way back when that the Human Genome people were doing their job more quickly by only mapping the active DNA and skipping the "junk"... if that "junk" is in fact active, does that mean they have a lot more mapping to do? Or is my info just hopelessly out of date?

Jesus, bring on the Intelligent Design wakos! (1)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501943)

The last time something like this was announced the Intelligent Design wakos went crazy. E.g. if "junk DNA" contains meaning then Evolution is wrong because that whole theory is based on protein encoding genes. If there is some overall all control mechanisms outside of the genes then that can only be evidence of some intelligently designed mechanism.

Genetically Modified (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501969)

What about Genetically Modified vegetables ?
is that modifying the broad DNA enough to affect the edibility of the food ?

Does it amuse anyone else (1)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 6 years ago | (#19501971)

how predictably people label things they don't understand as "junk"? Well, gee willikers, we sure can't figure out what that there stretch of DNA is doing, it must be junk! Oh, you wanna know why, if it's useless, it's been preserved for a couple of billion years or so? Dunno, maybe my grad student has an idea. Gimme a beer.

Patent wrench? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#19502039)

Interesting. Not that I sort of expected something like it for a while.. though maybe not as a "functional network". There is so much going on or that could be going on in there, maybe we need to have simulations made like the ones that allowed circuits to program themselves wierdly/organically using induced currents, just so we can get a handle on the tricks that evolution may have drawn on. For example rereading a sequence with a byte offset. Incremental diffs (maybe some of this happens in polyploidal plants..), even something really hard to understand conceptually like using holographic information storage in some bits, or electromagnetic/quantum/local chemistry effects between different parts of dna. IANAbiologist but it stands to reason that valuable tricks which increase robustness or variation at little expense are bound to get taken up in an organism. It may be that much "junk" dna really is junk but that parts of it are laced with important data bits that do in fact get used. Hope we can find some relatively simple microorganism that demonstrates some of these same issues... Anyway it seems we have made another milestone if the report is true and now we get a slightly better handle on what is going on. Only thing... last time I checkd it was extremely hard for grads of a joint biology/cs program (students who wanted to go into this field) to get a paying job after graduation (except sometimes at a drug company) (in Japan). I don't know if this has changed but certainly we need a lot more people who know a hell of a lot about biology and computer science to crack this in our lifetimes.

Ah, yes... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19502077)

"Dammit, Jim! I'm doing all I can. I'm a Doctor, not one of your shiny youngbuck Engineers!"

"This creature has no recognizable central nervous system - no heart, lungs, kidneys, liver or even a simple brain that I can find. Maybe if I WERE an Engineer I could make sense of all of.......this..."


If McCoy couldn't envision a connection between data networks and the human genome, what does that say about - Wait...he was an actor, right? Not a real doctor in the future...?

Roddenberry has some explaining to do!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...