A month or two ago I remember reading an article in a German newspaper (Die Zeit) about new discoveries which had been made about the human genome. I don't speak perfect German so I might have misunderstood some parts of it, but after going through it with a friend who does I'm pretty sure I've got at least the main ideas right.
The article talked about a 'paradigm shift' in genomics, saying that new discoveries had led people to discover that DNA was far more complex than previously thought. Instead of having a stable genetic make-up which is near enough identical in every cell, DNA mutations are far more common than scientists imagined - so common that even as embryos, identical twins are already beginning to develop genetic differences between one another. It also described each cell as being 'a genetic universe in itself', suggesting that there are vast differences between the DNA found in each cell of a single organism.
When I first read this article I was sceptical, thinking it was just the paper's way of being sensationalist and trying to make more out of the story than there really was. But after reading it through again and (I think) understanding it a bit better, it doesn't seem quite so implausible.
I don't know much about genetics, but my understanding is that if this were true it would be pretty big news for biologists. However, I haven't been able to find anything about it since, either in newspapers or on the internet.
Is anyone able to enlighten me a bit? Could this be true, or is it completely exaggerated? Or is it something which everyone has known for ages and is being made into more than it should be?
I appreciate your help, and any other information (preferably in English ) would be welcome. I hope my post made sense and that I'm not asking something completely stupid...
If anyone wants to read the original article it's here (be warned - it's very long and in German)