He and colleagues said it would make more sense to define a gene as a collection of RNA molecules instead of a particular location on the DNA.
Birney said that with the finding of widespread activity across a person's DNA, scientists will be debating how much of it is really crucial to life.
Still, "it's worth reminding ourselves that we are very, very complex machines," Birney said. "It shouldn't be so surprising that the instruction manual is really pretty fearsomely complicated."
Journal Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature
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