"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Master What? 

Everyone knows I'm easily annoyed by bad science journalism. That today's example comes from a generally respectable source, and in an article about some really fascinating research, just makes it worse.

Researchers working in mice have found that knocking out the gene p63, they cause the mice to age at an accelerated pace and die sooner. This is a really interesting and exciting discovery. My problem is that the New Scientist article calls p63 a "master gene," which is a completely stupid word, since we all know that the more we learn about complex traits (like aging and skin tone), the more obvious it is that many, many genes are almost always involved. And with a gene that is apparently so little studied, it feels really premature to go calling it "master."

But still, it's a cool discovery, and if it helps me eliminate those crows feet, so much the better!

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