Monday, August 3, 2015

Exposing Hype over Genome Study and Junk DNA Claims

There's more to say about those extravagent claims regarding junk DNA. They're hyped, for one thing.

Exposing Hype over Genome Study and Junk DNA Claims


In addition to exploring the evolutionary implications of junk DNA in my last column, I’ve written two posts for the Knight Science Journalism Tracker discussing the hype surrounding recent junk DNA -related claims.

The claims came from a press conference staged by NIH and designed to drum up publicity for a genome-related project called ENCODE.

This was the first:

And this one I posted yesterday after more time and research.

The ENCODE project really was interesting, but the scientists and their PR people generated excitement for the wrong reasons.

Also, as one commenter pointed out, I did misuse the term “genetic code” in last week’s column. That’s been fixed. Thanks for pointing out the error.

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About this blog
Faye Flam - writer
In pursuit of her stories, writer Faye Flam has weathered storms in Greenland, gotten frost nip at the South Pole, and floated weightless aboard NASA’s zero-g plane. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and started her writing career with the Economist. She later took on the particle physics and cosmology beat at Science Magazine before coming to the Inquirer in 1995. Her previous science column, “Carnal Knowledge,” ran from 2005 to 2008. Her new column and blog, Planet of the Apes, explores the topic of evolution and runs here and in the Inquirer’s health section each Monday. Email Faye at Reach Planet of the at

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