back to article Our Endless Numbered Days, Junk DNA and Exotic England

El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks the latest from three female authors in the publishing world covering very different areas. Making a very impressive debut in fiction is Claire Fuller's fantastical tale of survival. Nessa Carey explains some of the lesser known, yet fascinating facts of bioscience, and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first

    So little vision

    "She defines Junk DNA as any that does not encode for protein, i.e 98 per cent of it."

    Only in three dimensions...

  2. ConativeMe

    Nessa Not

    Nessa: "She defines Junk DNA as any that does not encode for protein, i.e 98 per cent of it.". Junk Science, perpetrated by arrogant clueless pin heads, evidenced by failed projects like Fukishima and crimes against humanity evidenced by Thermonuclear Weapons and others. Thank You All Knowing!

  3. 100113.1537

    Poorly explained

    For the author of this review to say this:

    "Carey goes on to state that the human genome contains 20,000 protein coding genes, so I guess that makes 980,000 of the junk variety"

    implies that Carey has actually done a poor job of explaining things. The 98% non-protein coding DNA is - by definition - non-gene DNA so there are not "980,000 [genes] of the junk variety".

    The book is about junk DNA so surely the difference between coding and non-coding DNA should have been made at the start. That the Reg journo missed this implies that the book is not actually all that well-written....

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Poorly explained

      You have assumed the Reg journo

      a) actually read it

      b) has a clue about what the book is about.

  4. BobRocket

    The second two books sound dire but I might just give the first one a go.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please do yourself a favour...

    ... and check what "junk DNA" really is. It's not junk. Turns out a lot of our cell is regulated, and that regulation does not come from protein coding zones, which leaves the 98% left as a possible candidate.

  6. x 7

    the reference to William Cobbett made me check his entry in Wikidpaedia, and what do I find but:

    "Cobbett was found guilty of treasonous libel on 15 June 1810 after objecting in The Register to the flogging at Ely of local militiamen by Hanoverians."

    Didn't realise El Reg had been around that long........"treasonous libel" sounds about par though

    1. DocJames

      Watch what you comment!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first book sounds suspitously like a true story I remember

    Just the names and locations changed.

    As for long, boring reads with interesting titles, Try "The Fishing Fleet - Husband Hunting in the Raj"

    Not one of them gets bagged and displayed as a trophy on the wall.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Darwinism retards science yet again

    The "Junk" DNA debacle is another illustration of how Darwinism has hindered real science. For decades, biologists, blinkered by their being steeped in evolutionary fairytales, declared that the bits of DNA _they_ couldn't understand were clearly just evolutionary leftover garbage and so ignored the vast majority of DNA - hardly good science.

    Of course the truth is that even now -- many decades on from the discovery that our cells are not simple squishy components easily cooked up in the lab but actually immensely complex self-reproducing factories -- year after year papers are published showing that the whole genetic system has layer upon layer of complexity we hardly begin to understand and simple protein coding is barely the beginning of it.

    This is of course the very complete opposite of what Darwin and the theory of evolution predict. Dismiss it as a nonsense then and work from the evidence instead? Never, just pretend that it's what we should have expected all along and rewrite the textbooks in a decade or two (no point in making the students feel uneasy about the truthfulness of what they're being taught, is there? We'll come up with a good revised fairytale for the textbooks later. Once they're properly indoctrinated they'll happily accept these blatant inconsistencies anyway...)

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