Massive DNA Study Seeks Insight

    This undated image provided by the U.S. National Cancer Institute shows the 46 human chromosomes, where DNA resides and does its work. Each chromosome contains genes, but genes comprise only 2 percent of DNA. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, 500 scientists around the world reported their findings on the complex functions occurring in the rest of DNA, much of it involved in regulating genetic activity. (AP Photo/National Cancer Institute)

    National Cancer Institute / AP Photo

    A project by more than 500 scientists from around the globe has provided an immense amount of new information on how our DNA functions. DNA is commonly known as the vessel of genes, but these only comprise 2 percent, while little is known about the rest—until now. The report, released Wednesday, finds that so-called "junk" DNA—the 80 percent of genetic blueprints once thought useless—may actually play a large part in disease. One organizer compared the project to Google Maps, calling it “the first global view of how the genome functions” that sheds light on the inner workings of DNA. The National Human Genome Research Institute organized the research into an encyclopedia and will probably be rewriting textbooks in the near future.

    Read it at CBS News