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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, February 2013
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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 1,787)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (96th percentile)

Citations

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271 Dimensions

Readers on

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1312 Mendeley
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32 CiteULike
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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, February 2013
DOI 10.1093/gbe/evt028
Pubmed ID
Authors

D. Graur, Y. Zheng, N. Price, R. B. R. Azevedo, R. A. Zufall, E. Elhaik

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 486 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 1,312 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 60 5%
United Kingdom 34 3%
Germany 20 2%
Spain 14 1%
Canada 10 <1%
Norway 8 <1%
France 7 <1%
Australia 5 <1%
Brazil 5 <1%
Other 62 5%
Unknown 1087 83%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 375 29%
Researcher 318 24%
Student > Bachelor 152 12%
Student > Master 127 10%
Professor > Associate Professor 77 6%
Other 262 20%
Unknown 1 <1%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 858 65%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 196 15%
Unspecified 55 4%
Medicine and Dentistry 53 4%
Computer Science 41 3%
Other 108 8%
Unknown 1 <1%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 645. 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 13 February 2019.
All research outputs
#8,397
of 12,527,219 outputs
Outputs from Genome Biology & Evolution
#1
of 1,787 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#65
of 142,112 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Genome Biology & Evolution
#1
of 32 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,527,219 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 1,787 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 8.8. 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 142,112 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 32 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.