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20% of Scientific Papers On Genes Contain Conversion Errors Caused By Excel, Says Report ( 42

An anonymous reader writes from a report via WinBeta: A new report from scientists Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren, and Assam El-Osta says that 20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel. In the scientific article, titled "Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature," article's abstract section, the scientists explain: "The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions."

It's easy to see why Excel might have problems with certain gene names when you see the "gene symbols" that the scientists use as examples: "For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to '2-Sep' and '1-Mar', respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession '2310009E13' to '2.31E+13'). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. 'SEPT2' converted to '2006/09/02'). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem."
You can view the scientific paper in its entirety here.

Comment Re:Hillary's a WITCH! Burn her! (Score 1) 479

Hmm... But the problem is that the Constitution defines the presidential election process in a winner-take-all way. That means that attacking Hillary, even by merely accepting and propagating the slander against her, is increasing the likelihood of the other winner.

In a winner-take-all election system there are only two stable states: Two balanced teams (parties) compete for the bulk of the voters in the middle, or one team has a permanent dominance of the game. In a sense the openness of the system actually makes it worse, because whatever technique works for one side will tend to be adopted by the other, and principles and philosophies be darned. I suppose the sad joke is that the founders feared the idea of political parties precisely because they expected the parties to put their partisan interests ahead of the nation's concerns--and I think the results have shown their fears were extremely well considered and justified.

If they had been even more innovative than they were, then they might have come up with the coalition solution, but they had their limits and that idea didn't come up until later. Nor could they anticipate the appearance of computerized gerrymandering...

Comment Re:A president who cannot separate personal affair (Score 1) 479

Okay, so now you are accusing your boss of being an inhuman monster and apparently trying to gain my sympathy for your sad work situation.

But mostly you're just proving my point that most of Hillary's enemies are nuts and will go to ANY length to attack her. I didn't like Hillary much, but I'm beginning to love her for her enemies. I have this visceral thing against liars, and her enemies are clearly the biggest liars in that valley.

After MILLIONS of dollars spent looking for smoke, her enemies have come up with nothing. Not for a lack of sincere effort and massive wastes of taxpayers' money. No, you can't prove a negative, but at some point the sane people are going to say there just isn't any fire there.

Comment Re:Hillary's a WITCH! Burn her! (Score 1) 479

Let's start with the hypothesis that Hillary had committed some crime. Millions of dollars have been spent investigating EVERY aspect of her life seeking evidence to convict her, and yet she remains unconvicted. The investigations are driven by people who are highly motivated and extremely hostile. Sometimes even insanely hostile. And yet, no conviction after MANY years of effort.

No, you cannot prove a negative, but at some point you have to say that the preponderance of the evidence is that she's been been careful enough in following the actual laws. Lawyers tend to be like that, and I do think that her primary personal identity is probably "lawyer" or "corporate lawyer". I wish it was "philosopher" or even "statesman", but I'm not holding my breath, especially after Citizens United. (On the rapidly growing list of bad decisions from the Supreme Court, I think that one is already near the top.) I still don't like lawyers.

Now let's consider examples of Trump saying insane things. How do you feel about the idea that Mexico is sending rapists to America? Something is insane about that idea. Do you want more examples? (Oh, and by the way, quite a number of psychologists and psychiatrists have said that they think there might be something wrong with the Donald.) Maybe you're imagination is too limited, but I can certainly imagine Trump coming out against guns--but only AFTER he's in the White House. If he did it before the election, then that would convince me that either he is insane or his entire campaign has been a sham.

Comment Re:The bigger problem... (Score 1) 10

I think you are addressing a different problem now, and I have written about it frequently. I think it is ironic that the so-called Republican Party loudly proclaims their devotion to the Constitution while abusing it quite aggressively. Probably most directly relevant to your comment is that the House of Representatives was deliberately designed and intended to be the part of the government that would be most responsive to the will of the voters, being held to account as frequently as seemed plausible in those days, every two years.

Nowadays the professional politicians use aggressive and partisan gerrymandering to choose their voters before the voters can choose them. By concentrating and effectively wasting many of their opponents' votes, a numerical minority of voters winds up with a dominating majority in the House of so-called Representatives. The situation is actually worse if you consider the effects of selective disenfranchisement, but at least the Founders were also guilty of that one. Not just the 2/5 thing, but women and most poor people, too.

Comment Re:A president who cannot separate personal affair (Score 1) 479

And you have never had to send an email message to your boss so you could take care of your child? Either you are a lifeless and inhuman bastard or you are so desperate to attack Hillary that you lie and demean yourself. Possibly both, now that I think about it.

I rather wish I had complete access to all of your email. I bet you would not like that very much.

Comment Re:A president who cannot separate personal affair (Score 1) 479

And there is NEVER any relationship between the two?

Let's pretend you have an actual life. Perhaps you have a spouse and a child? Have you ever sent an email message to your boss about needing to take a day off so you can be with your child?

If your answer is no, then I think you are an inhuman bastard.

If your answer is yes, then you were lying. Why are you so desperate to attack Hillary that you demean yourself?

I actually find the situation rather laughable. I don't like Hillary, but her most vocal enemies are so vile that I am actually beginning to like her quite a bit. That obviously does not seem to be their intention.

As regards the presidency, some people seem to think it's supposed to be some sort of gawd. NO human being is qualified for such a job. I think it was really a shame that Ford pardoned Nixon because the job of president has become insane and really needs to be dragged all the way down to earth and buried in mud for a while. Maybe that is Trump's real plan?

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