If you think of the human genome like a textbook, you can think of Encode as the footnotes, intended to provide insight into what all the nucleotides are doing. It annotates all of the 3.2 billion combined A, C, G and T nucleotides that make up genes and their regulatory sections. In doing this, Encode papers defined function in a loose way, to include all the things that DNA does. The research says the vast majority of our DNA participates in at least one "biochemical event" in at least one cell type, and considers this a function. But that definition is liberal at best, and it wasn't even the project's goal, said Mike White, a systems biologist at Washington University in St. Louis who has criticized Encode's hype but (unlike Graur) has praised its value to science. Rather, it was to comprehensively measure the biochemical features of the genome, and let scientists have a go with those measurements.