Stretches of non-coding DNA that have remained identical across millions of years of evolution are typically assumed to have functional regulatory roles that would be compromised by any amount of nucleotide substitution. A new study finds that these ultraconserved regions are more robust to mutagenesis than their level of conservation would suggest.
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Pittman, M., Pollard, K.S. Ultraconservation of enhancers is not ultranecessary. Nat Genet 53, 429–430 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00839-6