A similar thing happened with pseudogenes. They look sorta like genes, but they're not really genes. So they're not important, right? Actually, they are important. The PTEN pseudogene is much more complicated than anyone imagined. Perhaps if they removed the evolution glasses and did not act so hastily, evolutionary scientists might get closer to the truth sooner.
Not only have many pseudogenes been proven to be highly functional, a recent study has unveiled mind-boggling complexity behind the PTEN pseudogene, showing that it functions both forwards and backwards as part of an intricate gene network.
Pseudogenes were once thought to be nothing but genomic fossils of broken genes littering the genomes of plants and animals deposited over eons of evolutionary history. However, as scientists begin to unravel the complexity of the genome, they are discovering that pseudogenes are not so "pseudo" after all.
One of the most widely studied pseudogenes in humans has been the "PTEN pseudogene." It is an unprocessed pseudogene, meaning that it has all of the same DNA features of a regular protein-coding gene, except that it lacks the ability to code for a protein due to specific changes in its sequence. The PTEN pseudogene is an important player in human health because of its ability to regulate another gene with which it shares similarity with called simply PTEN. Together, and along with a host of other important genes, they control cell growth. When the PTEN pseudogene gene is disrupted, the outcome is often cancer.You can learn more by reading "Bewildering Pseudogene Functions Both Forwards and Backwards".