Brought to us by NBC News and LiveScience (which actually can have some pretty good science coverage). This article has some complete and utter crap:
Some parts that I have issues with:
- The headline: "'Junk' DNA mystery solved: It's not needed." The headline is silly but alas it is consistent with what is in the article.
- "So-called junk DNA, the vast majority of the genome that doesn't code for proteins". So - they have redefined junk DNA as all non coding DNA?
- "For decades, scientists have known that the vast majority of the genome is made up of DNA that doesn't seem to contain genes or turn genes on or off." Apparently there is an entity out there known as "The Genome".
And then we get into the quoting of author and researcher Victor Albert with no comments or responses from anyone is painful too.
- "At least for a plant, junk DNA really is just junk — it's not required." Except that they did not show this - they just showed that one plant can have a small genome and not have a lot of "junk" as they call it, which of course does not really say anything about what "junk" does or does not do in other organisms.
- "Nobody's really known what junk DNA does or doesn't do" apparently calling into question the some 10,000 plus papers on the topic.
"The findings suggest junk DNA really isn't needed for healthy plants — and that may also hold for other organisms, such as humans."
And this leads us to 'Junk' DNA mystery solved: It's not needed.
So - basically - if ONE FUCKING ORGANISM DELETES SOME OF IT'S NON PROTEIN CODING PORTIONS OF ITS GENOME THEN THIS MEANS THAT ALL NON CODING DNA IS USELESS.
And for this evolutionary logic, I am awarding NBC News, Tia Ghose (the author of the piece) and Victor Albert, the 15th coveted Twisted Tree of Life Award.
- Twisted tree of life award #14: @nytimes and Nathaniel Rich on Immortal Jellyfish
- Twisted tree of Life Award #13: Press release from U. Oslo on new protozoan
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #12: Billion Year Old Smart Bacteria That Perfectly Treat Cancer
- Twisted tree of life award #11: National Geographic for emphasizing Five Kingdoms & no Bacteria/Archaea
- Twisted tree of life award #10: @Discovermag for article on Lynne Margulis
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #9: Nature News on the "Marsupial" platypus
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #8: Alroy on "Changing the rules of evolution"
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #7: NPR on the Evolution of Crying
- Twisted tree of life award #6: Scientific American Origins piece for dissing microbes
- Twisted tree of life award #5: Nicholas Wade & use of higher, lower, ladders, etc
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #4: Hoxful Monsters Blog on "Primitive" Animals
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #3: The Columbus Dispatch on Ancient Bacteria
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #2: Science Friday on the Five Kingdoms
- Twisted Tree of Life Award #1: Salk Institute Press Release on Kinases
Some other discussions of this paper and related to my critique (though not always agreeing with me)
- Knight School of Journalism: A Weird Little Plant is Nearly Free of Junk DNA. Big Contentions Underlie Seemingly Cute Story
- From T. Ryan Gregory Genome reduction in bladderworts vs. leg loss in snakes ...
- Deconstructing Nature's “plant without junk DNA” story | Genetic ...
- From Dan Graur: The Logical Fallacy of Jonathan Eisen (a.k.a. @phylogenomics) and the Theological Implications of the Bladderwort Genome