15 May 2013

Bladderwort revisited: Because the fun never ends in Junk DNA Land!

I've had some feedback and read additional commentary posted elsewhere about the bladderwort news I posted about earlier this week and feel compelled to post a follow-up. I also just submitted revisions to a manuscript, which means I'm validated in indulging my whims of...continued professional development via blogging?

Anyway, I particularly like Jonathan Eisen's Twisted Tree of Life award to MSNBC's coverage of the bladderwort study. His argument is compelling and his rhetoric is golden.

Next, my friend Jared astutely pointed out in a comment on my last post that I appear to have misrepresented the research from the ENCODE project. Again, here I fell victim to a common folly among transposable element researchers. I've adopted the term "junk DNA" to refer to any non-coding sequence in a genome, whereas others use the term in a functional sense (i.e., junk DNA is a sequence to which function has not been ascribed). I've since edited the previous post to reflect my viewpoint. Simply put, a large portion of the human genome is comprised of transposable elements and other non-protein coding sequence, yet contemporary research indicates many of these sequences still perform functions necessary to organism function. I appreciate the comment, Jared, and am so grateful for folks like you who help me stay on my toes!

Finally, there was also my embarrassing gaffe in mistyping "Badderwort" in my title of the original post. It's since been corrected, but will live on in the automatically generated permanent web address. It's ok, though, because the bladderwort is definitely the baddest of the worts regardless.


Victor Albert said...

I like T Ryan Gregory's comments a lot better than Jonathan's, but I guess I'm biased.... http://www.genomicron.evolverzone.com/2013/05/genome-reduction-in-bladderworts-vs-leg-loss-in-snakes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Genomicron+(Genomicron)

Victor Albert said...

And Dan Graur's is "golden" too!