Redundant Genetic Instructions (image) Princeton University Caption In research that suggests that so-called "junk DNA" may help organisms overcome adverse growth conditions, a Princeton research team focused on redundant instructional regions in the fruit fly genome known as shadow enhancers. Experiments with shadow enhancers that influence the production of hair-like projections, which are called trichomes, on the bodies of fruit flies showed that, when the researchers deleted these redundant DNA snippets and observed developing fly embryos, flies without shadow enhancers developed with only very slight defects in their trichomes under ideal conditions -- 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit. But at more extreme temperatures -- pushing the limits of those at which developing fruit flies can survive -- the researchers found that flies without shadow enhancers had severe deficiencies in their trichomes. Credit Nicolás Frankel and David Stern, Princeton University Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.