Author: Brianna Nee
Editor: Liane Xu and Megan Liu
Artist: Tiffany Gao
The human genome consists of about 3.2 billion base pairs, which make up approximately 30,000 genes. When genes are expressed, the sequence of bases is transcribed in the nucleus from DNA into RNA. Then, in the ribosome, the RNA is translated into proteins. These proteins aid in the function of the human body.
Surprisingly, much of human DNA doesn’t code for proteins. These non-coding regions can be sites that control the expression of genes. Transcription factors bind to these areas and activate or repress gene expression. Gene expression regulates the presence of proteins to adapt to changes in the human body. Non-coding DNA can also be transcribed into transfer RNAs and ribosomal RNAs, and then spliced out in different ways to form different sequences of RNA from the same original strand. Thus, although non-coding regions do not code for proteins, they are also vital parts of the human genome.