Venn figures go wrong

6-way Venn banana

6-way Venn banana

I thought nothing could top the classic “6-way Venn banana“, featured in The banana (Musa acuminata) genome and the evolution of monocotyledonous plants.

That is until I saw Figure 3 from Compact genome of the Antarctic midge is likely an adaptation to an extreme environment.

5-way Venn roadkill

5-way Venn roadkill

What’s odd is that Figure 2 in the latter paper is a nice, clear R/ggplot2 creation, using facet_grid(), so someone knew what they were doing.

That aside, the Antarctic midge paper is an interesting read; go check it out.

This led to some amusing Twitter discussion which pointed me to *A New Rose : The First Simple Symmetric 11-Venn Diagram.


[*] +1 for referencing The Damned, if indeed that was the intention.

3 thoughts on “Venn figures go wrong

      1. Nils Gehlenborg

        Shameless plug: we got kind of upset about seeing these in scientific publications over and over again and we did something about it. See for example our Nature Methods Points of View column (http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v11/n8/full/nmeth.3033.html) and try UpSet (http://vcg.github.io/upset). The UpSet paper (http://vcg.github.io/upset/about/) has a case study demonstrating how UpSet can be applied to compare variant calls from multiple callers/configurations. See Figure 13 and Supplementary Figures 5, 6 & 7.

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