Laurence A Moran - new book on junk DNA

Do you see that as an argument against the notion that the junk DNA actually acts as a buffer against negative mutations? I think that is something I heard somewhere with examples like you have as a counter

I am listening to the following book when I am doing other things. Some good content on junk DNA here as well
Herding Hemmingways Cats - Understanding How our Genes Work by Kat Arney

I don’t see how this would be the case. You get the same number of mutations in functional DNA no matter how much junk DNA there is. The mutation rate is a per base rate, so the less DNA you have the fewer mutations you get.


Zach B Hancock has just uploaded a video on this also

I found the section in Moran’s book dealing with it (pg 107) - he calls it the bodyguard hypothesis. Apparently it is an argument by someone called Nessa Carey, and also Claudiu Bandea. I had heard it referenced somewhere else. Both Moran and the other source I can’t remember basically said the same as you.

Moran seems to think it is both the comparison to the human genome as well as other onion species (pg 109 ish). Am I misunderstanding him?

As if this weren’t enough, none of these bodyguard ideas passes the Onion Test. If protecting DNA is so important, then how can it explain the fact that the onion needs so much more protection than humans and that different onion species have quite different amounts of insulating DNA?

Looking at an approximation of the original post by T. Ryan Gregory (the real original is no longer available), I see I was wrong. The onion test involved comparisons with humans and with other onions.

There are many other potential tests, such as the fugu test or the Arabidopsis test. More broadly, the so-called C-value paradox.


This chart is worth digitally earmarking. Genome size is measured in mass:



If I recall, 1 picogram is approximately 1 billion base pairs.

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