MAY 13, 2016 08:33 AM PDT

Genome Size: Bigger Is Not Always Better

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
4 7 245

Your genome is not a static collection of DNA nucleotides; rather it is a dynamic system subject to evolutionary selection. It is for this reason that the DNA content is so variable in different species. But the genome size is not always an indication of the complexity of the organism, proven by the fact that both humans and mice have roughly about the same genome size � about 3 billion nucleotide base pairs.

The number of genes also contributes to the difference in DNA content between species. In addition, the genetic composition of the genomes can vary greatly � some species have more elements like noncoding DNA and some have less.

These differences in DNA content make it difficult to correlate genome size to complexity. Thus, despite having 50 times more DNA bases than humans, the beautiful flower Paris japonica is only just a flower.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 06, 2018
Videos
JUL 06, 2018
The Impact of Junk Food on the Brain
Researchers have found that junk food stimulates neurons in our brains that cause a sense of reward.
JUL 11, 2018
Videos
JUL 11, 2018
College Football Player Who Committed Suicide Had CTE
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is the talk of professional sports. From NFL players to ice hockey veterans, rugby teams, and soccer organizations,
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
How far can a single breath can go?
Longest distance swam underwater in one breath by a female using fins. Can you imagine being the Guinness World record-holder of that title? Marina Kazanko
JUL 28, 2018
Videos
JUL 28, 2018
Separating Microbial Fact From Fiction
Can the toilet really send germs flying to your toothbrush?
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Why You Shouldn't Hold in a Sneeze
Despite how tempting it might be to hold in a sneeze when you’re in a public location, it’s in the best interest of your body that you just let
AUG 09, 2018
Videos
AUG 09, 2018
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Especially during a long hot summer, staying hydrated is essential. Dehydration can have severe consequences in children, the elderly and those with immune
Loading Comments...