90% of researchers sequencing things because they “can’t think of anything else to do”

Cambridge, MA.  90% of genomics researchers are sequencing things because they exist in a complete intellectual vacuum and can’t think of anything else to do, a recent survey suggests.

The survey asked the simple question: “If you are currently involved in a genome sequencing project, can you identify any real reasons why?”.  92% of the 10,000 scientists surveyed ticked “no”.  In the comments box beneath the question, respondents had written “if it moves, sequence it”, “I don’t understand the question” and “you could sequence an ant’s scrotum and Genome Research would publish it”.

Recent papers in genomics include those describing the genome of the cucumber, the genome of the centipede and the genome of the ferret.  Some have suggested that scientists are simply following the alphabet, but Arthur MacDaniel of the Wide Institute denies this: “Following the alphabet would imply that genomicists are following some kind of logic or rational; they’re not.  Their motto is ‘sequence first, think later’ but too often they only complete half of those tasks.  These guys are frothing at the mouth for DNA.  In fact, they’d sequence the froth and submit it to Nature if they could” Arthur continued.

In related news, in human medicine where genomics could actually make a real difference and cure disease, the society of doctors (SODs) have refused to adopt routine genome sequencing, issuing the following statement: “we didn’t think of it first, so **** you genomics!”

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10 Responses to 90% of researchers sequencing things because they “can’t think of anything else to do”

  1. flashton says:

    ‘…of the Wide Institute (pronounced ‘Woad’, blue body paint optional)…’

  2. Just a bioinformatician says:

    Of course MD’s object genomics, they don’t have a f* clue how to interpret the data..

  3. Seriously. Is this a real argument, or self deprecation. Wake up! You live I. The era of the great genome discoveries! Did Columbus have a good justified reason to discover America? No, of course, any justification would seem silly today.

    We sequence genomes because we can, because the time has come to do this. Just like the great discoverers found is/ands and continents simply because they were there.

    • jovialscientist says:

      Yes, but what about the islands they didn’t discover because they’re not there? Hmmm? It’s all about the unknown unknowns man!

  4. Nick W says:

    Don’t forget how much time early Naturalists spent staring down microscopes at slime 😉

  5. Pingback: Links 12/6/14 | Mike the Mad Biologist

  6. rijkswaanvijand says:

    What Columbus did have was a reason to conquest, which basically boils down to wealth and power. So ‘m not entirely certain this makes for a valid and productive scientific motive or excuse.

  7. Pingback: Most people doing genomics not actually doing genomics | The Science Web

  8. Pingback: Consortium partner is going to do everything you do, only worse | The Science Web

  9. Pingback: Peak Sequencing and ‘Moore’s Law’ Deception « Homolog.us – Bioinformatics

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