We need a satisfactory metaphor for DNA.

From New Scientist:

We need a satisfactory metaphor for DNA

2 comments to We need a satisfactory metaphor for DNA.

  • Ralph

    Why does anybody care about NS? It’s a rag and it always has been.

    It is important that scientists explain genetics rather than hide behind its complexities…

    Therefore, we need a metaphor that inevitably oversimplifies DNA. Umm, okay?

    I asked readers to come up with an expression consisting of six words or fewer that captured the molecule’s ability to replicate itself.

    How arbitrary. I’m sure they gave you some profound answers.

    “DNA: the web which spins the spider”…So if it was so good, why didn’t it catch on?

    Perhaps because it took him another full paragraph to explain what the hell it actually meant. And it doesn’t even communicate the fact that replication is semi-conservative, which is the key point. Are you beginning to see the problem with six-word metaphors?


  • T Ryan Gregory


    I was going to suggest a new title as well– “WATSON AND CRICK WERE WRONG”, with the story being about how it’s not a blueprint. Did they actually say it was? Matters not.


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