Deconstructing Nature’s “plant without junk DNA” story

The following is an edited excerpt of a longer story.

paper released in Nature this week had all the elements of a good science story. An odd little plant called a carnivorous bladderwort was found to have almost none of the so-called junk DNA that makes up the bulk of other organisms’ genomes.

Here’s what Tia Ghose at LiveScience says:

The findings suggest junk DNA really isn’t needed for healthy plants — and that may also hold for other organisms, such as humans.

It’s an extrapolation that’s not justified by anything the scientists actually found. And so the LiveScience story caused a few scientists to become apoplectic.The problem was with the way the results were being interpreted to imply that because this plant doesn’t need much non-coding DNA, we don’t either.

View the full story here: A Weird Little Plant is Nearly Free of Junk DNA. Big Contentions Underlie Seemingly Cute Story

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 ...

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