Are critics exaggerating ENCODE’s emphasis on function?

Here and there in the blogosphere, people have begun defending ENCODE against criticism by noting that there is a lot more to the project than just the claim that 80% of the genome is functional. That’s just the media, they say, whereas that was only a small part of the actual study.

Well, […]


Birney dodges but Sparc nails it.

Ewan Birney has a new post up on his blog about reaction to the ENCODE publications and the associated media extravaganza last week. Unfortunately, it adds very little of substance to the discussion and most of the main criticisms are dodged again. But, the one redeeming feature of the post is the following comment […]


ENCODE: a flying, cancer-punching mega robot.

I bet you didn’t know just how AWESOME the ENCODE project really is.

WTF?


Two very different summaries of ENCODE.


ENCODE (2012) vs. Comings (1972).

The coining of the term “junk DNA” is credited to Susumu Ohno, who used it in two conference presentations that were later published as Ohno (1972) and Ohno (1973). However, Ohno only used the term once per paper — in the titles. The first detailed discussion of “junk DNA” was by Comings (1972), and […]


The ENCODE view of genome size diversity: simple and silly.

Below is what I imagine the notes look like at ENCODE meetings, based on Ewan Birney’s comments on Twitter.

“We are the most complex things we know about. It’s not surprising that the manual is huge,” says Birney.

Click for larger […]


Birney thinks the Onion Test is silly.

A few people have wondered what Ewan Birney, lead coordinator of ENCODE, would have to say about the Onion Test.

Well, here’s what he had to say on Twitter.

It’s hard to tell from this dodge, but I suppose the suggestions here are that a) the fact that humans have more DNA than […]


ENCODE and fighting about junk.

I recommend this post by Brendan Maher on Nature News about the ENCODE blowback.

Fighting about ENCODE and junk

Some comments:

1) It’s pretty clear that the evidence suggests actual biological function (in any reasonable meaning of that term) for 20%, and even that is an extrapolation. 80% is the figure only if your […]


Have you heard?


The ENCODE media hype machine.

Well, the major news outlets seem to have bought into the claims that a) most people thought that all non-coding DNA is non-functional, and b) we now have evidence that most of it is functional. (Neither is true, by the way).

New York Times (USA) — Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play […]