The fourth version of Jonathan Eisen's "Overselling Genomics Award" goes to the University of Western Ontario for a press release announcing that new honeybee research by Graham Thompson proves that selfish genes are not just theoretical. The paper cited describes four QTLs associated with worker bee sterility, an altruistic behavior. The release, says Eisen, ignores other work in the field and plays up these findings. "Their results are nice and interesting but they are part of a continuum of work on bees (and other selfish systems) and do not in any obvious way suddenly prove the existence of this selfish gene compared to prior work that they imply was just guesswork," he blogs.
Busy as a Bee
Jun 25, 2008