Reports of junk DNA’s ‘demise’ were based on junky logic and dubious definitions

The following is an excerpt.

Magnificent organisms capable of composing symphonies, calculating quantum energy levels and dunking basketballs are built from DNA molecules containing 90 percent junk.

At least that was the prevailing biological wisdom until last September. Previous studies of the human genome — the catalog of all human DNA and the genes made from it — showed that most DNA was junk, with no biological importance for the survival of the species. But then came a report in Nature  from the ENCODE project (for ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements). It proclaimed that 80 percent of the human genome could be assigned a “biochemical function.” News reports heralded the demise of “junk DNA.”

Since then, though, some scientists have begun to analyze the ENCODE papers the way ENCODE analyzed the genome, and have reached an entirely different conclusion. Not only is most of the genome junk, it seems, so is the ENCODE analysis. It uses a questionable definition of function and commits various logical fallacies in applying it, contend Dan Graur of the University of Houston and several collaborators.

View the original article here: Reports of junk DNA’s ‘demise’ were based on junky logic and dubious definitions

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend