Junk and Jewels in the Genome

In this Sunday's issue of the New York Times Magazine, I have a feature about clashing visions of the genome. Is it overwhelmingly made up of "junk"--pieces of DNA that provide us with no useful function--or is it rife with functional pieces that we have yet to understand? Or is the reality of the genome a confusing mixture of the two?

To research this story, I shed some blood so that I could compare my genome to that of an onion. This print-out, annotated by T. Ryan Gregory, shows that an onion has five times more DNA in its genome than mine. I also spent time in ...

Latest Posts