Not Junk After All

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Science  23 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5623, pp. 1246-1247
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085690

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Repetitive elements called Alu elements constitute more than 10% of the human genome yet do not appear to code for proteins. In his Perspective, Makalowski discusses new work ( Lev-Maor et al.) that sheds light on how Alu elements become inserted into the coding regions of genes resulting in the formation of new proteins and thus contributing to evolution.