Introduction: DNA and CNA
This was a remarkable week for the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium. ENCODE is an international collaboration of research groups funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) that aims to build a comprehensive parts list of functional elements in the human genome, including elements that act at the protein and RNA levels, and regulatory elements that control cells and circumstances in which a gene is active.
On the 5 September, ENCODE announced that:
The results of the ENCODE project were published today in a coordinated set of 30 papers published in multiple journals. These publications are the result of cross-consortium integrative analysis, covering more than 4 million regulatory regions in the human genome mapped as part of ENCODE. The coordinated publication set includes one main integrative paper and five other papers in the journal Nature; 18 papers in Genome Research; and six papers in Genome Biology. The ENCODE data are so complex that the three journals have developed a pioneering way to present the information in an integrated form they term “threads.” Since the same topics were addressed in different ways in different papers, the Nature ENCODE website was developed to allow readers to follow a topic through all of the papers in the ENCODE publication set. In addition to these publications, six review articles are being published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and other affiliated papers in Science, Cell, and other journals. The new Integrative Analysis page on this portal provides links and descriptive material for these publications and related analysis resources.
Back in 1990 I was intrigued to learn about the launch of The Human Genome Project. I wondered if some of the principles applied in genomics could be applied to the observation and analysis of performance in sport. Are there universals in sport that become markers for success (and failure)?
Two years after the announcement of the Genome Project I proposed the establishment of the Centre for Notational Analysis (CNA) at Cardiff Institute of Higher Education. The approximation of CNA to DNA was unintentional but did, ironically, start my search for patterns of successful behaviour in sport. In 1998 Gareth Potter became the first PhD from CNA with a thesis titled Modelling Winning Performance in Invasive Team Games.
The announcements this week about ENCODE came as I was finalising my data collection for the 2012 AFL season.
This year I looked at the scoring profiles of teams by quarter of the game.
In my data set I have 197 winners, 197 losers and 1 drawn game.
In 2012, winners scored a total of 22,178 points. Losers scored 13,982 points.
The score totals by quarters of game for winners were: 5517 (First Quarter); 5348 (Second Quarter); 5541 (Third Quarter); 5731 (Fourth Quarter).
The score totals by quarters of game for losers were: 3472 (First Quarter); 3396 (Second Quarter); 3591 (Third Quarter); 3539 (Fourth Quarter).
The season average per game for winners was: 28 (First Quarter); 27 (Second Quarter); 28 (Third Quarter); 29 (Fourth Quarter); 113 total.
The averages for winners each week were:
The season average per game for losers each week was: 18 (First Quarter); 17 (Second Quarter); 18 (Third Quarter); 19 (Fourth Quarter); 71 total.
The averages per week for losers were:
Hawthorm were the Minor Premiership winners in 2012 and Greater Western Sydney were the bottom team on the Ladder.
Hawthorn’s season looked like this:
Greater Western Sydney’s:
I based my record on performance in 2012 on performance relative to 2011 AFL ranking. Greater Western Sydney were a new team in the competition and so were ranked 18th in my reference list.
The colour codes for each game are:
Winning teams have a green profile and are trying to avoid aberrant red markers. Losing teams tend to have a blue profile and are trying to gain yellow markers.
Just as in the ENCODE Project I think it is fascinating to contemplate whether all parts of the performance profile are important. This week one report observed:
The ENCODE Project has discovered that so-called “junk DNA” in the human genome is more useful than previously thought. Rather than useless remnants from our evolutionary past, half or more of human DNA act as “gene switches”, researchers found.