When scientists sequenced the human genome a decade ago, it was somewhat like looking at a blueprint in a foreign language — everything was marked in its proper location, but no one could tell what it all meant. Only about 1 percent of our genome codes for proteins that actually do anything, so the rest of our DNA has been like biology’s dark matter, acting in mysterious ways. Now, after years of monumental effort, scientists think they have some answers.
A massive cosmic cataloguing effort released a new crop of star and galaxy data last week, noting the locations and brightnesses of hundreds of thousands of objects. Now you can fly through some of them in this new video -- click past the jump for a "flight through the universe."
The hunt for dark matter is arguably the biggest scientific search ongoing right now--even as scientists close in on the elusive Higgs boson--but finding it is not proving easy, since physicists can't see or measure the stuff, or even be sure that it's there at all (it is, after all, theoretical at this point).