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Will Nicholas Wade Ever Learn?

Last year, New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade wrote a few articles in which he referred to genome sequencing as “decoding”. I chastised him for his poor use of terminology, was pleasantly surprised when he began to correct himself, and then realized that he would never overcome his inability to communicate science clearly. It…

Sorry, dude, but it has to be said. In a feature from the March issue of Seed Magazine (one that doesn’t appear to be available online), Jonah Lehrer profiles six young scientists dubbed “The Truth Seekers”. In his description of Pardis Sabeti, Jonah makes the common error of conflating evolution with natural selection. Sabeti has…

In a round-up of some of the coverage of Shelley’s run-in with Wiley, Scientific American’s Nikhil Swaminathan wrote the following: Anyway, on Tuesday, over at the ScienceBlog Retrospectacle, neuroscience PhD student Shelley Batts (who based on her pictures alone seems to be both attractive and avian-friendly) posted an analysis of a study appearing in the…

Around the Bioblogosphere

Ever wonder what biobloggers are blogging about on their blogs? Here’s what: Razib posts part of a paper by Jerry Coyne and others (which I can’t seem to track down) which questions the role cis regulatory elements play in adaptive phenotypic evolution. This all part of Coyne’s war on evo-devo. Another post at GNXP (this…

Junk in the Media

The recent Scientific American article on junk DNA (discussed here) has instigated a quite a furor in the bioblogosphere. Here is a collection of links: ERV linked with a tone of disgust. I restated my frustration with the term junk DNA. JR Minkel, the author of the Scientific American article, responded to my criticisms. Ryan…

Junk DNA in Scientific American

Would I write about junk DNA? No. Never. Not me. Not even when Scientific American publishes sub par articles on junk DNA. Well, they’re at it again. The most recent junk DNA article describes a study by Gill Bejerano of Stanford University which I can’t find published anywhere (neither can ERV). Is Scientific American describing…

More Macaque

As you’ve probably already heard, George Allen’s favorite primate has had its genome sequenced. I promised to blog on the article, but this is not the post. Instead, this post is to kvetch about the coverage of this story in the popular press. It’s another adventure in bad science reporting! Here are two examples of…

Epigenetics does not Refute Darwin

According to Physorg.com, this study on epigenetic inheritance in chickens “shake[s] Darwin’s foundation”. Who knew inheritance in a flightless bird could induce an earthquake in northern Australia? That’s not what they’re referring to? They’re not claiming that a neo-Lamarckian process could produce seismic activity? For everyone running around like a chicken with its head cut…

The Press and Our Educational System Suck

Matt Nisbet and Chris Mooney are arguing that science education is so fucked up and the press are so piss poor that scientists need to go swift boat vets in order win the public debates against anti-science types. According to Nisbet and Mooney, the general public are too stupid to understand the real science, so…

On Human Genes and Silent Mutations

Both Carl Zimmer and Larry Moran have posts on the gene content in the human genome. Carl points out that the estimate of the total number of genes in the human genome is decreasing, but we still don’t know what a whole bunch of those genes do (according to the one database he searched). Larry’s…