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Only 8.2% of human DNA is likely to be doing something important – is 'functional' – say Oxford University researchers.

The figure of 8.2% is very different from one given in 2012, when some scientists involved in the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project stated that 80% of our genome has some biochemical function.

That claim has been controversial, with many in the field arguing that the biochemical definition of 'function' was too broad – that just because an activity on DNA occurs, it does not necessarily have a consequence; for functionality you need to demonstrate that an activity matters.

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