The Sciences

Another Science Hurricane: A Massive Survey of the Genome

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerSep 6, 2012 3:45 AM


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Every now and then we science writers come face to face with how much science there is to write about--and how limited our powers to write about it are. This week, I'm on the road to report a magazine feature--a week that just so happens to be the one that a team of scientists chose to publish dozens of papers at once on the nature of the human genome. The purpose of the project, called ENCODE, is to systematically measure the function of every bit of the human genome. ENCODE has been going on for quite some time. In 2008, I wrote about the first chunk of results from ENCODE in the New York Times, and I followed up in 2010 here with a report on the work of some skeptics who challenged some of ENCODE's results. If I wasn't already insanely busy with another story, I'd be all over this one. If you're interested in the debate over how our DNA works, let me direct you to some coverage: Brendon Maher at Nature NewsEd Yong blogs the story, then updates with responses from skepticsUniversity of Toronto biochemist Larry Moran explains why he doesn't buy the results.

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