↓ Skip to main content

On the immortality of television sets: “function” in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE

Overview of attention for article published in Genome Biology & Evolution, January 2013
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#1 of 1,433)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (83rd percentile)

Readers on

mendeley
1194 Mendeley
citeulike
32 CiteULike
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
On the immortality of television sets: “function” in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE
Published in
Genome Biology & Evolution, January 2013
DOI 10.1093/gbe/evt028
Pubmed ID
Authors

Eran Elhaik, Dan Graur, Yichen Zheng, Nicholas Price, Ricardo B.R. Azevedo, Rebecca A. Zufall, Ricardo B. R. Azevedo, Graur D, Zheng Y, Price N, Azevedo RB, Zufall RA, Elhaik E, D. Graur, Y. Zheng, N. Price, R. B. R. Azevedo, R. A. Zufall, E. Elhaik, Graur, Dan, Zheng, Yichen, Price, Nicholas, Azevedo, Ricardo B.R., Zufall, Rebecca A., Elhaik, Eran

Abstract

A recent slew of ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium publications, specifically the article signed by all Consortium members, put forward the idea that more than 80% of the human genome is functional. This claim flies in the face of current estimates according to which the fraction of the genome that is evolutionarily conserved through purifying selection is less than 10%. Thus, according to the ENCODE Consortium, a biological function can be maintained indefinitely without selection, which implies that at least 80 - 10 = 70% of the genome is perfectly invulnerable to deleterious mutations, either because no mutation can ever occur in these "functional" regions or because no mutation in these regions can ever be deleterious. This absurd conclusion was reached through various means, chiefly by employing the seldom used "causal role" definition of biological function and then applying it inconsistently to different biochemical properties, by committing a logical fallacy known as "affirming the consequent," by failing to appreciate the crucial difference between "junk DNA" and "garbage DNA," by using analytical methods that yield biased errors and inflate estimates of functionality, by favoring statistical sensitivity over specificity, and by emphasizing statistical significance rather than the magnitude of the effect. Here, we detail the many logical and methodological transgressions involved in assigning functionality to almost every nucleotide in the human genome. The ENCODE results were predicted by one of its authors to necessitate the rewriting of textbooks. We agree, many textbooks dealing with marketing, mass-media hype, and public relations may well have to be rewritten.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 496 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 1,194 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 64 5%
United Kingdom 39 3%
Germany 21 2%
Spain 15 1%
Canada 11 <1%
Norway 9 <1%
France 7 <1%
Brazil 7 <1%
Australia 5 <1%
Other 67 6%
Unknown 949 79%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 353 30%
Researcher 304 25%
Student > Bachelor 137 11%
Student > Master 111 9%
Professor > Associate Professor 71 6%
Other 218 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 855 72%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 129 11%
Medicine and Dentistry 49 4%
Computer Science 41 3%
Unspecified 26 2%
Other 94 8%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 665. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 November 2017.
All research outputs
#4,885
of 8,658,872 outputs
Outputs from Genome Biology & Evolution
#1
of 1,433 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#56
of 117,527 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Genome Biology & Evolution
#1
of 6 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,658,872 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,433 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 8.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 117,527 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 6 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them