Genome regions once mislabeled ‘junk’ linked to heart failure

Large sections of the genome that were once referred to as “junk” DNA have been linked to human heart failure, according to research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. So-called junk DNA was long thought to have no important role in heredity or disease because it doesn’t code for proteins.
Emerging research in recent years has revealed that many of these sections of the genome produce RNA molecules that, despite not being proteins, still have important functions in the body. RNA is a close chemical cousin to DNA. 
Molecules now associated with these sections of the genome are called noncoding RNAs. They come in a variety of forms, some more widely studied than others. Of these, about 90 percent are called long noncoding RNAs, and exploration of their roles in health and disease is just beginning.