http://www.theguardian.com/science/...uman-dna-functional-genome-biological-baggage ... More than 90% of human DNA is doing nothing very useful, and large stretches may be no more than biological baggage that has built up over years of evolution, Oxford researchers claim. The scientists arrived at the figure after comparing the human genome with the genetic makeup of other mammals, ranging from dogs and mice to rhinos and horses. ... Gerton Lunter, a senior scientist on the team, said that based on the comparisons, 8.2% of human DNA was "functional", meaning that it played an important enough role to be conserved by evolution. "Scientifically speaking, we have no evidence that 92% of our genome is contributing to our biology at all," Lunter told the Guardian. ... But other scientists take a broader view of what it means for DNA to be functional. Most of the 92% that Lunter's group says is not functional DNA is still active in some way in the body. "Many [DNA] elements that play important roles in human disease are not evolutionarily conserved. Some of these have human-specific functions, some are involved in late-onset diseases like Alzheimer's, and others are simply missed by current comparative genomics methods," said Manolis Kellis, a computational biologist at MIT who was not involved in the study. "We cannot simply ignore the remaining 90% of the genome that is not evolutionarily conserved." "Evolution can tell you whether something is important or not important, but it doesn't tell you what that something actually does," he added.