Tag Archives: satire

Mining the World News: Michael Pollan has alien genes?

As Mary pointed out last week, we had an alien DNA upgrade about 1,000 years which lead to the blast furnace, among other necessary modern accoutrements, according to recent research reported in the Weekly World News (still no original paper found in PubMed).

Well, apparently current genomics research has shown  that those meddlesome  aliens are still tinkering. In our deep digging into that bastion of truth and scientific fact, the World Weekly News we found 1 in four Americans have alien genes, a set of genes that started showing up in 1978 it seems.

One of the symptoms is the overwhelming love and cravings for green vegetables, so I suspect Michael Pollan might be one of those 25% of Americans with the new version 2.1 genes from Molganis. Though I couldn’t be sure, other symptoms include an impatience with crying people and using too much dish soap, so perhaps he doesn’t have those?

I haven’t been able to track down “Dr.”  Kornblum to clarify. I’d love to talk to him about setting up an annotation track in the UCSC Genome Browser so we can all determine whose genome carries these recently introduced genes, we can call it MorganiGene (2.1).

The Weekly World News is a wealth of genomics information!  The article:

New Feature: Mining the World News

Well, I’ve been behind on some of my reading.  That arsenic DNA stuff from NASA really got me thinking that my astrobiology was not up to snuff. So I decided to put some deliberate effort into catching up on that.

Good thing. I found a report that I had totally missed before. I’m not sure how I could have missed it, but it was around the time we were starting OpenHelix and I must have just been busy.  Anyway, here’s the publication:

Aliens Altered our Genes 1000 Years Ago, by Vincenzo Sardi.

You can access this masterpiece from Google books here.

Reportedly a team from France had discovered that during the Middle Ages there was a major alteration of human DNA. They found a segment of DNA that did not conform to the known “language” of DNA….sound familiar??? They claim it has all the earmarks of a splicing event.

Dr. Sedeaux, the lead researcher, suggests that this is the basis for all the advances humans made after the Dark Ages.  There’s a very helpful inset that lists human inventions since this upgrade was performed. It’s certainly impressive.  Check out the larger view of the story image, or go to Google books for the original.

The researchers are now using this sequence to see if they can markedly increase the intelligence of monkeys. I’ll have to see if the follow-up work has been published on this.

I’m unable to locate the original paper in PubMed, I can’t imagine why. So I can’t get a DOI and do a ResearchBlogging post on this. If anyone has the original work, or contacts at the Foundation–send them to me. And NASA.

The OpenHelix team will be offering a new feature–Mining the World News, with periodic offerings that we unearth from that paragon of sciency-ness, The Weekly World News. It’s how the cranks spread pseudo-science and anti-science before the intertubz….