Everything: What’s Missing Is What Gets Scientists Most Excited

What makes most scientists most excited is the same thing that—if they’ve heard about it—makes many non-scientists wonder if scientists are nuts: Way more than half of “the stuff the universe is made of” is still a mystery to scientists. Which may strike you as a crazy thing to realize, and a crazy thing to say. […]

The human genome and the immortality of television sets

The ENCODE project (its stated goal is “to identify all functional elements in the human genome sequence“) has attracted much criticism. Dan Graur, a member of the Luxuriant Former Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS), and his colleagues made hearty contributions to that river of criticism: “On the immortality of television sets: ‘function’ in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel […]

A classic 24/7 Lecture: Eric Lander — THE HUMAN GENOME

Eric Lander delivered one of the early 24/7 Lectures. A 24/7 Lecture is a lecture in two parts: first a complete technical description in 24 seconds, second a simple description anyone can understand in 7 words. At the 2003 Ig Nobel Ceremony, Professor Lander spoke on the topic: THE HUMAN GENOME. His seven-word summary has become a classic […]

Scientists speak up: “On the immortality of television sets”

By weird tradition, scientists use dull, obscure language when they criticize other scientists. Six scientists chose to stray outside that tradition. In a new paper, they criticize the people who did “The ENCODE Project: ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements”. They pull few, if any, punches. Thanks to Rolf (“pull no punches”) Zwaan for bringing this to our attention: […]