Perhaps an unsurprising result for those of us who are used to the surprising nature of scientific discoveries. But fascinating, nonetheless.
“Our initial understanding was of the genome as a simplistic structure and we were surprised that there were very few genes” found when the genome was first mapped, said Chris Ponting, a professor of genomics at the University of Oxford who wasn’t involved in the latest research. “Encode shows us how extraordinarily decorated the genome is.”
And who is funding this sort of basic research? You guessed it:
Kick-started in 2003 and funded largely by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Encode has so far cost $185 million and involved more than 440 scientists.
Basic scientific research is one of the best benefits a stable government can provide.