The first full talk of the day was a substantive piece of work by a DCU graduate student who is clearly going to go far - at least as far as Leeds because his boss is brain-draining from the country next month. But I wish someone would tell him about its vs it's because he got it wrong in the title slide of his talk and there are enough apostrophe nazis in the room and they notice these things and it makes them more critical of the work. It shouldn't matter but it does and it's better to learn the rules than annoy potential employers, grant-reviewers and paper-referees. One of the many things I learned from Bob Tamarin, one of my mentors in graduate school, was that you wear a suit and tie to interviews . . . because it shows that you keen enough on the job to go through with such conventions.
Looking beneath the hood it's easy to find gross spelling errors which show that the authors couldn't be arsed to proof-read their manuscript. If you look for "psuedogene AND pseudogene" on Pubmed or Google Scholar you get hundreds of hits including one from Nature. If nobody on the team has picked up those errors then you should be double-plus skeptical that they've labelled the axes of their graphs correctly. Years ago, I put together a list of these bloops as an exercise for learning how to use PubMed: lenght, developement, chromotin and chromasome are all
I've got a pal in Manchester who wrote The Book on Bioinformatics. It was almost more trouble than it was worth. She wrote the book easily enough because she had been teaching a course on the subject for a few years and more or less transcribed her notes and illustrations. The pain came in getting it published by an American company. She was a tiny bit on the unbending side as you probably have to be successful as a women in science: if you don't have some backbone, lesser blokes will gallop through you for a short-cut. It came down, at one point to a termination war: she wrote realise, they corrected to realize and she decorrected the proofs. As the deadline approached, some idiot did a global-search-and-replace s/ise$/ize$/ and it went off to print; including the phrase "it is no good being wize after the event". If the bard himself couldn't be bothered to spell correctly, how come know-nothing copy editors feel they can do it better than the author?