Genetics News

Are there too many mitochondrial genome papers?

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And too few corresponding insights?

Asks an op-ed in The Scientist :

I just finished reviewing another mitochondrial genome paper. These days, the mitochondrial genome review requests are arriving faster than I can turn them out. Indeed, in 2014 alone, more than a thousand new mitochondrial genome sequences were deposited in GenBank—an almost 15 percent increase from the previous year.

Few would question the utility of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) as a genetic marker. But it is increasingly clear that sequencing mtDNA has become an easy route to peer-reviewed publications; at times, the pursuit of these publications is encumbering journal editors, referees, and the research infrastructure as a whole. Is publishing papers on mitochondrial genomes a relic of the “publish or perish” academic landscape? Should mtDNA sequences go directly into GenBank? Are we still gaining new and significant insights from mitochondrial genome data? More.

Note: A Darwin follower whom no one who values their time would bother to research in any detail keeps sniffing in our combox that there is a Betteridge’s Law—according to which any question in a headline can be answered by the word “No.”

Cleve-VER! Especially if one knows nothing of news writing.

Alphanumeric characters in news hedders are counted, and should/must not exceed a prescribed number. A question mark can squeak otherwise overweight hedders through.

Any relationship between that fact and an alleged answer to the posed question is accidental but possibly favours a yes answer.

Failure to recognize that fact shows that the Darwin fan has once again placed his trust in a false source of authority: First Darwin, then in (if he exists) Betteridge. And next, I guess, in… whoever.

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2 Replies to “Are there too many mitochondrial genome papers?

  1. 1
    Mung says:


    News: Thought’s welcome.

    Comments are closed.


    Though I suppose you could welcome thoughts while keeping comments closed.


  2. 2
    News says:

    Clerical error, now fixed.

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