“Junk” DNA story for today

‘Junk’ DNA makes compulsive reading

Whatever the truth, the results pose fresh puzzles about how genes work. “It would now take a very brave person to call non-coding DNA junk,” says Greally.

It would. So stop it, New Scientist. Putting the “junk” in quotation marks doesn’t distract us from the usage of the word.

The article is a summary of recent findings from the ENCODE project (ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements). More details in:

Random summary of interesting things

Way too busy for a proper blog post, here’s some links to resources that caught my eye in the past week:

Briefings in Bioinformatics special issue

Briefings in Bioinformatics is less well-known than the other bioinformatics/genomics journals, perhaps as there are only 6 issues a year, but it’s often worth a read.

The current issue is a special entitled “Knowledge Integration and Web Communities”, featuring 6 papers and focusing on semantic web technology. From one of the abstracts:

Scientists drove the early development of the World Wide Web, primarily as a means for rapid communication, document sharing and data access. They have been far slower to adopt the web as a medium for building research communities.

The articles don’t appear to be open access, unfortunately.

Biologists, software and ELNs

Every few months, my colleagues decide that electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) are a good idea. I go through the ritual of searching the web, bookmarking some resources and where possible downloading, installing, configuring and running packages to see how well they work. I know in advance that I’m wasting my time, because I’ve tried them all and there isn’t one free/open-source ELN that works for me.
Read the rest. . .