DNA: The Book of You
Oh hey, some guy with the same name as me and who sounds exactly like me wrote and narrated this video for TED-Ed all about the scale, structure and organization of the human genome.
Oh wait… it IS me! Enjoy the sciencey sounds of my voice telling you all about how big the human genome is.
Although 20,000 genes sounds like a lot, it’s far less than the number scientists initially predicted. We end up getting lots of variants out of fewer genes thanks to something called alternative splicing. Although none of it is “junk”, about 8% of our genome is inactive virus DNA (which we stole genes from in order to be born), and more than half is other kinds of insertions from ancient, jumping “selfish genes” called retrotransposons.
(A note: Most of the numbers in this lesson are for one copy of the human genome. Remember that you actually have two copies of the human genome in every cell, so the length of DNA and number of bases, etc. it actually DOUBLE that! If you want to know more details about any of the facts and figures in the video, leave me a note in the YouTube comments or send me a message here or on Twitter.)