In the 1980s, Dr. Malcolm Simons discovered that certain DNA sequences in coding regions (exons) of genes are correlated with non-coding regions (introns), i.e. they are “linked” together within an individual’s genome. These non-coding regions, often colloquially referred to as “junk DNA,” were at that time believed not to serve any relevant biological function. Using this discovery, Dr. Simons and other scientists were able to devise methods using the “junk DNA” to detect alleles of particular genes and use that information to ultimately diagnose and treat genetic disorders.
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