Gene birth in yeast and human

The completion of the human genome came with few surprises it seems in retrospect. One was the observation that the human genome apparently had much fewer genes than  expected. I never understood the fuss that was made about the total gene number, as referring to an absolute number of genes is a gross simplification of the facts. How many genes we have is highly dependent on what we call a gene and how we identify them in the human genome. When talking about the total number of genes, how can you leave out all the problems of probabilistic algorithms for gene identification and the difficulties of proving gene expression and coding potential experimentally? Continue reading