The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A rather disturbing state of affairs regarding a tire and some leather

A cold snap is passing through South Florida (it's expected to get to the mid-30s tonight) and because of that, I broke out the heavy leather jacket I have.

As I was leaving the Weekly Company Meeting™, I zipped up the jacket, but I must have somehow mis-zipped it, because shortly afterwards I found it unzipping itself from the bottom up (the only other conclusion is that the jacket has a lack of girth, whereas I have an abundance of girth, and the two didn't quite mix—or something like that).

The upshot: a mostly open leather jacket clasped at the neck that was rather awkward to take off. I also spent the better part of an hour manually attempting to re-zip the jacket from the bottom up so I could unzip it normally; a most annoying process, let me tell you.

I was successful in my endevour though, but until further notice, I won't be able to zip up my jacket.

“It's all fun and games until your code gets cancer.”

The genome is littered with old copies of genes and experiments that went wrong somewhere in the recent past—say, the last half a million years. This code is there but inactive. These are called the “pseudo genes”.

Furthermore, 97% of your DNA is commented out. DNA is linear and read from start to end. The parts that should not be decoded are marked very clearly, much like C comments. The 3% that is used directly form the so called “exons”. The comments, that come “inbetween” are called “introns”.

These comments are fascinating in their own right. Like C comments they have a start marker, like /*, and a stop marker, like */. But they have some more structure. Remember that DNA is like a tape—the comments need to be snipped out physically! The start of a comment is almost always indicated by the letters “GC”, which thus corresponds to /*, the end is signalled by “AG”, which is then like */.

Via Reddit, DNA seen through the eyes of a coder

It's an interesting view of DNA, as seen through the eyes of a programmer.

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