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How Craig Venter is Like Coach K

On Renaisauce's blog, Renaisauce compares the Duke-Butler NCAA championship game to what he calls "the most entertaining science-based bout of the nineties: Francis Collins and Craig Venter." A recent issue of Nature, which Renaisauce says he was reading during the game, featured a special section on the 10-year anniversary of the completed human genome, including articles from Venter and Collins. But it's not as easy to pick a winner in the Collins-Venter fight as there was in the Duke-Butler game, he says. In the scenario between government-funded and industry-funded science, "government could easily have been considered the bad guy." The problem with that is that Collins is "a super nice, soft-spoken uber nerd," Renaisauce says, not exactly Lex Luthor. And on the other side, Celera, which should have come off as the struggling upstart bucking the system was being run by a man who "had a reputation for being the opposite of nice," according to Renaisauce. Plus, he says, the fight ended in a tie. Ten years later, "modern methodology favors Celera, but the NIH hasn't exactly lost any clout in the scientific community," Renaisauce says. Despite the civil decision reached 10 years ago, he adds, unlike in the Duke-Butler game this "heck of a bout" probably isn't really over yet.

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