Almost the entire genome is made up of protein-coding genes*.

*In bacteria.

But seriously, don’t you hate it when you read a headline that makes some intriguing claim that you think is about humans, only to discover that the research in question was based on mice, or yeast, or a computer simulation?



Here is a good example.

Aggression As Rewarding As Sex, Food And Drugs, New Research Shows

New research from Vanderbilt University shows for the first time that the brain processes aggression as a reward – much like sex, food and drugs – offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports like boxing and football.

The study was based on mice.

5 thoughts on “Almost the entire genome is made up of protein-coding genes*.

  1. I hate it that headlines about human biology omit the species name (or a common name), while headlines and titles for non-human studies include the name. I’ve read papers about human genetics that aren’t entirely obvious that they’re about human genetics because they never say human or Homo sapiens, or some other necessary descriptor. You’re just supposed to know: this is a paper about humans.

  2. That’s for journal article titles (and is a valid comment), but I was referring more to news headlines.

  3. I hate it even more when you see a statement that’s clearly based on work with humans/mammals but sounds like it applies to all of biology.

    “Most of the genome is junk”

    “In a major breakthrough, scientists have discovered regulatory RNAs”

    “Glucose regulates fatty acid synthesis”

    “Cells can’t make tryptophan”

  4. Personally, I think the default assumption should be that the paper is about yeast, the world’s most important model organism… all other organisms should be specified! 🙂

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