19 February 2008

Biological meta-code

Have you ever had the experience of sitting down to analyse some random program, & being faced by code (typically BASIC or some database language) which was obviously generated by something else — maybe The Last One (but of course, it wasn’t) or another 4GLish system?

It seems that the awesome complexity of DNA was not good enough, so scientists have moved along to discover epigenetics which are another controlling layer (one commentator termed it “the puppet master”) managing DNA expression.

This is one reason why identical twins can have differing DNA, as the epigenetic arrangements are what’s shaping each twin — as managers can direct programmers, so that one programmer might produce completely different results on two similar-appearing projects.

This & other mysteries solved (no doubt more opened as well) if you happen to have a Science magazine subscription (I read over someone else’s shoulder), but the basic principles at first look fairly clear: “molecular structure & bonding are subject to quantum mechanics. Now physicists have extended the concept of information to the quantum domain, & made some extraordinary discoveries.”

Oop! Quantum physics? There goes simplicity! (-:

Giggle, yes, but true. Hereinbefore regarded as relatively straight-forward, DNA expression just earned another layer of complexity.

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