Beware of “Science” Reports

A recent article published by Live Science on March 12, 2018 – Scott Kelly’s Year in Space Changed His Gene Expression – caught my attention since it claimed that ” … about 7 percent of the astronaut’s gene expression remained altered — and it may stay that way permanently.”  This seemed to be way out of whack since human genomes are widely regarded to differ by less than 1 percent. The “science” report just could not be true. Sure enough the editors recognized their error and admitted [I applaud them for this] that they were totally wrong in their article published on March 16, 2018 – We Were Totally Wrong About That Scott Kelly Space Genes Story. This story was written by “scientists” – how could they get it so wrong?

However, this brought the last sentence in the second paragraph of the March 16 story to my attention:

All humans share more than 99 percent of our DNA,
and we share more than 98 percent of our DNA with
chimpanzees, our closest living relatives.

Note that the article on chimpanzees, our closest living relatives (written in 2011) ends with this statement in the second to last paragraph:

The chimpanzee genome was sequenced for the first time in 2005. It was found to differ from the human genome with which it was compared, nucleotide-for-nucleotide, by about 1.23 percent.

The March 16 story was presumably written by the same “scientists” who got it so wrong about the 7 percent change in Scott Kelly’s gene expression. Scientists have known for at least 15 years now that we share no where close to 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees. How could these scientists get it so wrong again? Various studies show estimates that are closer to 80 percent. Many articles have been written by various scientists on these studies. Two of the best articles are perhaps [although there are many more]:

  1. (written in 2003).
  2. (written in 2012).

The bottom line is this – don’t believe everything that is written by scientists, check it out yourself.

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