And ye mome raths outgrabe
In the Lewis Carroll classic, Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty states, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” To this Alice replies, “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
Until now, that was the situation with DNA coding. Investigator Eddy Rubin of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) described findings of a study published in the May 23, 2014, edition of the journal Science. “All along, we presumed that the code or vocabulary used by organisms was universal, applying to all branches of the tree of life, with vanishingly few exceptions,” Rubin said.
In the protein language of DNA, it has long been assumed that there is only one such “canonical” code, so each word means the same thing to every organism. “What we saw in [this] study was that, in certain organisms, the stop sign was not interpreted as stop.”
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
―Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
You’d be surprised how often you can use the following quote if you care to memorize it. In some science or physics class someday, I can imagine that it might come in handy:
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
The mome raths quite frequently outgrabe within the slithy toves of microbiology and quantum science. In fact, here they come now!
Posted on May 27, 2014, in Cultural observations, DNA, Language, Microbiology, Opinion, Pop culture, Psychology, Spirituality, Technology and tagged Alice in Wonderland, amino acids, DNA, DOE, JGI, Lewis Carroll, nucleotide bases, Science. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.