Discussion in 'Science' started by Sankari, Dec 16, 2013.
I don't know anything about DNA, but this sounds pretty impressive to me:
How long to I have to go to Niversity before I become a cientist?
It's a while, but not as long as you might hink.
Title is absurdly misleading. (In fairness, so is the press release)
Both functions of DNA (codons and transcription factors) were already well known.
The "discovery" is that a sequence may simultaneously be a codon and a portion of a transcription factor, and they've named such sequences "duons".
In fact, evidence of transcription regulation within exons (coding regions of DNA) dates back to at least 2006
I'm not saying the paper is crap - there's an interestingly novel new methodology there. But the press release is dreadful.
Unfortunately, this is par for the course. University PR departments have incentives to over-hype things (if they make it onto the popular press, they get big pats on the back), and there aren't any journalists with the expertise to do more than regurgitate press releases.
At least the ABC article has a link to the Science paper. The commentary in Science here is probably useful for people not up to date on this stuff (like me, I haven't paid much attention to this stuff since 2010): http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6164/1325.full
May I join the chorus bemoaning the PR that is generated to "sell" science
Epigenetics is definitely NOT a new 'code' or field of knowledge just discovered by this tool professor
I've always understood epigenetics to be methylation of DNA, histone modification, or RNA splicing. This is more or less dual-purpose regions in the DNA itself, which are only of interest after transcription's initiated, so isn't really epigenetic in the usual sense of that term.