Who knew? Excel can cause inadvertent gene name conversion errors

Excel converts some gene names to dates. Research published in a recent issue of Genome Biology states: “A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions.” Currently there is no way to deactivate the automatic conversion feature in Excel. Researchers, reviewers, editorial staff and database curators must remain vigilant.