"Junk DNA is probably well named as junk. There doesn’t seem to be any glorious reason or function behind it," said Victor Albert, a University at Buffalo molecular evolutionary biologist and one of the lead authors on the study.
Only 2% of the human genome is actually made up of functional elements such as genes, according to Albert. The rest of it is non-coding DNA that doesn’t appear to carry active, relevant information for that living creature’s proper functioning (i.e. for building proteins).
But the carnivorous bladderwort plant, Utricularia gibba, has only about 3% junk, according to an international team of researchers -- which is unusual even by plant standards. About 97% of its code actually consists of genes -- making it a lean, mean genetic machine.