Thursday, October 28, 2010

Self-healing DNA . . .

My friend Perry Marshall just sent me a link to his latest article titled The Mathematics of DNA.

I have to confess, I can't follow all the math. (Or, perhaps more accurately: I have been unwilling to invest the time to figure out exactly what he is saying when he speaks about the implications of certain ratios.)

But ignore the more technical aspects and--as long as he isn't blowing smoke--the article is filled with some very intriguing ideas, indeed!

I'll quote the introduction just to whet your appetite:
Imagine that someone gives you a mystery novel with an entire page ripped out.

And let’s suppose someone else comes up with a computer program that reconstructs the missing page, by assembling sentences and paragraphs lifted from other places in the book.

Imagine that this computer program does such a beautiful job that most people can’t tell the page was ever missing.

DNA does that.

In the 1940’s, the eminent scientist Barbara McClintock damaged parts of the DNA in corn maize. To her amazement, the plants could reconstruct the damaged section. They did so by copying other parts of the DNA strand, then pasting them into the damaged area. . . .

How does a tiny cell possibly know how to do that???

A French HIV researcher and computer scientist has now found part of the answer.
Check out The Mathematics of DNA.

And if you can find anything wrong with what Perry has written, you may be sure he (and I!) would appreciate hearing about it.
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