The goal of ENCODE was to identify all functional elements in the human genome.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) is a public research project launched by the US National Human Genome Research Institute in September 2003.
The project involves a worldwide consortium of research groups, and data generated from this project can be accessed through public databases.
Humans are estimated to have approximately 20,000 protein-coding genes (collectively known as the exome), which account for only about 1.5% of DNA in the human genome.
The vast majority (80.4%) of the human genome participates in at least one biochemical RNA and/or chromatin associated event in at least one cell type. This contradicts the theory of junk DNA, as previously believed that most of the genome was useless, now shows that the non-expressing region of DNA is of great value because it acts by regulating the function of genes.
Among more than 400 diseases that have been detected with alterations in these regions of the genome, some diseases whose origin was unknown as diabetes-1, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, are known to be regulated by these genome regions.