Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

What’s wrong with this picture?

Quality assurance, or QA, is a job encompassing editorial revision and functional testing. It also curses QA analysts. We cannot unsee common errors and they shine like a hot needle in our eyes, jumping out unexpectedly and pulling our concentration into Revision Mode. We’re like the Terminator armed with resizable red ellipses.

One of the most insidious offenders is Left-Handed DNA, as described in this post on Symbiartic at Scientific American. Imagine that DNA is like a ladder that’s been twisted: you can turn it two ways. The way it is twisted is referred to as the ladder’s chirality, which means the mirror images of a molecule are not chemically the same as each other. In the case of the ladder-like shape of DNA, you can twist it left or right, counterclockwise or clockwise.

All DNA on Earth is right-handed: it twists clockwise. It’s one of the many indications we have that all life on Earth has a single common ancestor. Left-handed DNA is virtually unknown, (save for the form known as Z-DNA; when people speak about DNA generally, they are referring to the common B-DNA form].

But you wouldn’t know it to look at depictions of DNA in popular culture.

Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

Jurassic World official site: “Maybe we would have noticed earlier if Hammond had not spared the expense of graphic cards that support more than one colour.”

Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

Screenshot from the Word Crimes video by Weird Al: For such a nitpicky song about grammar, we’re disappointed in you, Weird Al.

Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

From the opening of the videogame Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Apparently Abstergo Industries is using their civilization control methods to spread misinformation via their Helix machine.

Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

TIME Magazine, Healthland: Exercise can’t change your DNA that much, TIME.

A quick look through the world of digital health online also finds backward DNA running rampant. We’ll refrain from sharing. Oh, okay—just a couple:

Cannot Unsee: The Curse of Biomedical QA

Oh, Elsevier Genetics. But wait! They have recently rebranded! 

 

By |July 22nd, 2015|Syndicated Content|

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