The Double Helix

We’ve discovered the secret of life.” Francis Crick, Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, in local pub, UK, 1953

‘Moreover, the insight that the discovery [of the structure of DNA] provided into how human characteristics arise from our individual genes created a veritable super-highway of research, ushering in gene therapy for inherited diseases and culminating in the recent sequencing of the human genome.’ Adrian Hayday, Professor of Immunobiology, King's College London, UK, 2003

‘DNA is, in every sense, a modern icon. For decades, it has enthralled scientists striving to understand its molecular meaning, provided an aesthetic template for artists, and challenged society with all sorts of ethical conundrums. The defining moment for DNA was the discovery of its structure. Published in the science journal Nature 50 years ago this month, James Watson and Francis Crick described how two strands of DNA embrace to form a double helix, and sparked a scientific revolution. To convince the skeptics that DNA truly was the material of inheritance - the so-called "stuff of life" - it was necessary to show how it could be copied and passed on from one generation to the next. Watson and Crick's model immediately hinted as to how DNA might be copied - each strand of the helix could act as a template to replicate the other. Carina Dennis, Nature, from BBC Science, 2003

‘All warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities…and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering those improvement by generation to its posterity, world without end!’ Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia; or, the Laws of Organic Life, 1, 1794-6

‘DNA – the most interesting molecule in all nature.’ James Watson, Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA

The only media report of the discovery of DNA, the secret of life – in 1953, the same year as Everest was climbed, and Queen Elizabeth 2nd was crowned - was in one newspaper, the News Chronicle.

WEE DNA STORY - ‘A remarkably short scientific paper, known officially as a letter, was published on 25 April 1953 in Nature, by James Watson and Francis Crick. It was perhaps the most momentous paper of the modern era, proposing a structure for the chemical, DNA (Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid), which composes the hereditary material of all living cellular organisms. The proposed structure - a double helix - rapidly became an icon, aesthetically beautiful, and stunning in its capacity to explain how DNA is replicated in order to transmit the genetic material to the next generation…Watson and Crick's paper was published without their undertaking a single experiment. Instead, the experiments underpinning their albeit inspired models were undertaken over the previous three years in the Strand basement laboratories of the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit at King's. The prime movers in obtaining the data at King's were Professor Maurice Wilkins, who had commenced pilot studies on the use of X-rays to analyse DNA structure, and Dr Rosalind Franklin, a Fellow who arrived at King's in January 1951, and who advanced the X-ray resolution of DNA structure to a new level of clarity and sophistication. Their data were published alongside the Watson and Crick paper but because neither provided a compelling model for DNA structure, they have often been overlooked. In 1962 Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize with Watson and Crick but Franklin had tragically died a few years earlier at the age of 37.’ Adrian Hayday, Professor of Immunobiology, King's College London, UK, 2003

‘All living things reproduce; reproduction, or ‘replication’, is one of the distinguishing features of life. The easiest way to reproduce is simply to divide. This is the way DNA replicates itself…The conceptual problems is – or was – that any one body produces many thousands of different proteins, which do hundreds of thousands of different things, but DNA itself seems chemically simple. In fact a DNA molecule has only three basic componenets: a sugar called deoxyribose; a number of phosphorus-containing groups called ‘phosphate radicals’; and a set of four ‘bases’ or ‘nucleotides’ known as adenine (A), cytosine (C), thymine (T), and guanine (G). These four bases provide the only source of variation in the DNA molecule. No wonder biologists thought it was boring, and could not possibly be the stuff of genes. How could such simplicity generate such complexity, and with such precision? But, as always, nature is way ahead of us… the order in which the four bases occure in the DNA molecule provides a ‘code’ that is in principle rich enough to specify all the proteins that any living thing could ever require: an infinity of possibilities.’ Ian Wilmut, The Second Creation, Headline, 2001

‘This is now the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh..’ Genesis, 2, The Bible

‘For many years, people who studied genetics thought that DNA wasn't complex enough to contain all of the information needed to make up a genome. DNA acts as the code, but how does it do it?...The function of DNA depends to a large extent on its structure. The discovery of the structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick is one of the most famous scientific discoveries of all time. The two scientists used evidence collected by other scientists, particularly that of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, to deduce the shape of DNA. One of the most important pieces of evidence came from Franklin's experiments of shining X-rays though the DNA molecule and using photographic film to record where the scattered X-rays fall. The shadows on the film can be used to work out where the dense molecules lie. This technique is known as X-ray crystallography….Working out the arrangement of bases in the DNA helix was made easier by 'Chargaff's rules'…Erwin Chargaff was a Czech-American scientist who had noticed that within every DNA molecule, the number of A bases was always the same as the number of T bases, and that the number of C bases was always the same as the number of G bases.’

‘These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew…’ Genesis 2, The Bible

‘..a vital propery of a gene  was that it could be copied exactly for generation after generation, with only occasional mistakes. What we were trying to guess was the general nature of this copying mechanism… of course now that we know the answer, it all seems so completely obvious that no-one nowadays remembers just how puzzling the problem seemed then.’ Francis Crick, Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, What Mad Pursuit, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989


In principle the duplication of DNA is straighforward, yet in execution it is miraculous, although it happens millions of times each second, in each of us.’ Ian Wilmut, scientist

DNA – or, deoxyribonucleic acid -

a mouthful which should be a poem;

adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine,

which should be the names of angels -

creative bond of adenine with thymine,

cystosine with guanine; A toT, C to G,

which is love,

as chemistry.

Who is this poet who can write the flower,

burning-ember leopard, in just four letters

clustered into threes; spell lily skin

and spotted fur, peacock tail, scale.

1.8 metres of DNA in each of our cells,

sparkling spiral strings, silver threads -

wound into structures less than a tenth

of a millimetre across, leaving plenty

of room on the head of a pin for angels,

invisibly clustering the space of a seed;

reaching to the Sun and back 600 times,

bundled into 23 chromosomes, paired –

three billion letters planted with genes,

nuggets of DNA, in encrypted verses –

chemical factories with magic and dancing

at the heart - realised script called to life -

creating proteins - amino acids -

which are the shared spoken word

of skin and wing - peacock and goat;

expression, mechanism of holy code

which has written itself out of nothing,

the original miracle found among stars.

Writing deducted, life deduced,

from the blindness of existence;

evidence and imagination beyond bone,

molecules of bone, to the dream of bone -

Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin’s

X-ray crystallography, which sounds

like it looks for the heart of rubies -

bone of closed stone, bright skeleton

of a diamond (which might resemble

that of a star, starfish or dandelion) -

shining X-rays through the DNA molecule,

catching the scattered pattern, recording as

a ghosthunter’s camera, authored shadows

on the film, showing the dense molecules -

James Watson and Francis Crick dreaming

the Double Helix, orderly flux; the dancing

spiral, alive with love and creativity -

artist’s shape that is neither life nor

chemistry - idea or dream - but all,

synthesised for imagining, pictured

for understanding, practicality -

as e=mc2 is expression, stripped

poem of energy and mass; so a ladder,

elegant and twisting - with something

of a swan’s neck; backboned poles

of alternating sugar and phosphate

groups – attached bases forming rungs

at each waisted twist, loyal partnering

of bases informed by 'Chargaff's rules’ -

Erwin Chargaff, the Czech-American

who noticed that within every DNA molecule,

the number of A bases was always the same

as the number of T; the number of C bases

was always the same as the number of G -

so Watson and Crick suggested each 'rung'

was composed of a pair of bases, joined by

hydrogen bonds, shackles - A always forming

bonds with T; C always forming bonds with G.

We’ve discovered the secret of life,” shouted Francis

in the local pub - 1953, when the Moon was still aloof,

blue writing of Earth on the black space page unread -

and the Human Genome lay sparkling like the golden

Pharaoh undisturbed. Pattern and concept, sequence,

mechanism – art and beauty of the Double Helix not

a luxury, lucky add-on, but integral, essential, one,

as everything created by its spiral is a work of art –

creation; kinship residing at the heart of the idea,

making, creating - a holy mechanism, copying –

growing, multiplying; and will become the tiger,

leaf or twitching rabbit in the garden; eagle, fly,

or nomad snail – given four billion years, my child;

gene sequence, spun space, the place of the Word -

deoxyribonucleic acid, etching the words of a poem

with informative light and the blank spaces between -

writing on Earth’s wet page, the work of the blue planet;

sketches and drawings of creation, knitted on spiral pins.

‘Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner thought that the task of ‘cracking’ the genetic code would take generations but in truth they hit upon the basic principle almost immediately… What if each amino acid was coded by a three-base sequence? Then there are sixty-four possible variants – of four times four times four. They tried this, and found that lo!, what was logically the simplest solution is in fact what nature has chosen to do…’ Ian Wilmut, The Second Creation: The Age of Biological Control, by the scientists who cloned Dolly, Headline, 2001

‘Thus the general plan of living things seemed almost obvious. Each gene determines a particular protein.’ Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989

‘DNA: A design icon - Twentieth century style gurus Charles and Ray Eames knew a good design when they saw one. Their influential short film Powers of Ten (1968) uses a 'ten times' scale change every ten seconds. The pivot point is a man lying in a field. A few minutes in one direction and we reach the Milky Way. A few minutes in the other direction and we are staring at the milky strands of the man's DNA. Fifty years ago scientists revealed the structure of DNA…The double helix structure of DNA became a design icon. Why has the double helix become so popular? Simplicity, symmetry and serendipity are key. The simplicity of the design - a spiral form resembling nothing more complex than a twisted ladder - means the metaphors used to describe DNA are easily understood and even more easily depicted. If you believe humans are hardwired for equating symmetry with beauty, then the pleasing proportions of DNA - parallel sugar spines connected by rungs of base pairs - ensures a positive atavistic response. And just as a slightly wonky nose on the otherwise perfect face of a model can add rather than subtract from her beauty, the slightly off-centre spiraling of DNA adds to its design perfection. As for serendipity, nature handed us a design that is easily read by both layperson and specialist. Designers often call the inexplicable "something" that raises a design from common to classic, the "X factor". It looks good, it's well-made and it works. And DNA's got these in spades.’ Denna Jones, Curator, TwoTen Gallery and Contemporary Initiatives, Wellcome Trust, 2003

‘Have not all souls thought/ For many ages, that our bodies wrought/ Of air, and fire, and other elements?/ And now they think of new ingredients…’ John Donne, 1571/2-1631, An Anatomy of the World, The Second Anniversarie

‘One reason that many of us take DNA personally - more so than say, discoveries of superconductors, cold fusion or dark matter - is because it constitutes the enigmatic core around which much of our behaviour, desires, fears, as well as our health, revolve.’ BBC News, 2003

‘The whole process seemed so utterly mysterious that one hardly knew how to begin thinking about it.’ Francis Crick, Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, What Mad Pursuit, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989

‘The double helix is one of the most readily recognized images circulating. DNA is often represented as a smooth, right-handed double spiral of varying relative dimensions, often without base pairs or obvious antiparallel strands. The fact that recognition survives the loss of these essential features suggests that the helix motif has a symbolic life of its own as the embodiment of the genome, genetics and life itself. Where are the limits of misrepresentation? To represent a left-handed helix is just wrong, according to the howls of literal-minded critics who write whenever an artist includes the mirror image of a double helix. In doing so, we have infringed upon their brand. If the double helix is to stand for our kind of life that arose from one set of chiral molecules, it has to be right-handed, they say.’ Editorial, Nature, 2005

‘… in the last 50 years DNA has ended up in some pretty ropey design manifestations… most DNA designs are such literal depictions of the double helix that they reduce the sublime to the cliché. Aside from numerous DNA sculptures…how about a double helix tie or boxer shorts? Or a left-spiraling DNA bracelet? The hyperbole accompanying some of the more banal creations is often better than the object itself. A necktie with a giant silk-screened DNA molecule has the accompanying text: "Helix, schmelix, what I'd like to do is meet whatever has DNA this big. And it's replicating. Yikes!" A quick search on the internet reveals many design businesses that incorporate the word DNA in their company title. And those that use the double helix as part of the company logo quite frequently get their DNA in an awkward - and incorrect - twist. Like a corkscrew, DNA twists to the right. But sinister twisting DNA appears in the most predictable (i.e. non-scientific) places as well as the most unlikely (an edition of James Watson's book The Double Helix).’ Denna Jones, Curator, TwoTen Gallery and Contemporary Initiatives, Wellcome Trust, 2003

‘Francis Crick lived in this house in Cambridge, now marked by a golden helix.’ BBC Science online

‘Their position, when spread out, look somewhat random but it clearly is not: the position of each piece of DNA – each gene – in three-dimensional space clearly influences its expression.’ The Facts of Life revisited, Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell,  The Second Creation, Headline, 2001

‘Towards multidimensional genome annotation - Our information about the gene content of organisms continues to grow as more genomes are sequenced and gene products are characterized. Sequence-based annotation efforts have led to a list of cellular components, which can be thought of as a one-dimensional annotation. With growing information about component interactions, facilitated by the advancement of various high-throughput technologies, systemic, or two-dimensional, annotations can be generated. Knowledge about the physical arrangement of chromosomes will lead to a three-dimensional spatial annotation of the genome and a fourth dimension of annotation will arise from the study of changes in genome sequences that occur during adaptive evolution. Here we discuss all four levels of genome annotation, with specific emphasis on two-dimensional annotation methods.’ Abstract, Nature Reviews, Genetics 7, 2006


The Moon was a single silver word

written in the black mouth of night,

sky’s opening blue vowel -

pared beyond musical light

to her chalky white bone,

pocked, unbeating heart;

cold molecules and tarnished gas -

to her brilliant round skull, stone

skeleton that is the stark idea of her;

the shining milky-blue sky-cocoon

that is the socketed thought of her –

her poem is written as a single word.

But trees flutter embroidery of leaves -

sewn by a single thirsting skinny thread;

green eyes flagged, scribbling on open blue,

until yellow and orange, red syllables ignite -

in ragged poems aflame, whispering of death

and life subsumed by one season; snowflaking

down from kneeling evangelist branches -

showering earth with burning scarlet stars;

trunks bend, articulating the human torso,

limbs still morphed to earth in illustration,

their golden rings sounding another year,

resin crying arboreal tear interpretations.

Flowers took me in their thin green arms,

open almond palms - cheek to invisibly

veined petal cheek - reading sugared breath,

love poetry for bees; sweet floral dictionary

for translating summer light into shining nectar -

gold sundust of pollen; ultimately spelling honey.

I touched their plugged green necks -

and through my open pink star palms,

the low sound of humming earth wired,

that is like a beatless, deep, slow heart.

And my own heart was like a morning rose,

opening from my chest on muscular hinges,

responsive to light, shifting moods, sundial

creeps of brilliance and shadow - raised up,

the leaves of my hands showed the skeleton

of a star - a Milky Way at every finger tip –

and now I saw, also sketches of paw and claw,

incipient fur under shorn skin, bonded hoof -

recognising the vertebrate and non-vertebrate

white bone and black exoskeleton, water-bone

of mother-of-pearl shell; my spine itching

with a tail, my shoulder blade nubs aching - 

I was a bundle of prints - animal and plant

ghosts; loose, shifting, but all rooted to me,

trailing shapes like a Gothic bride; a veil

of bird and mammal chimeras, dim hopes

of a sea urchin for eyes - one day seeing in me;

my human shape was just a mannequin of stars.

And this rose of my heart became a red light -

clarifying like plasma from blood, scarlet cells;

for the sight of my black eyes reading the world -

seeking to the heart of words, beyond letter, active

symbol, to sound, space where notes silently carry

music; pulling back again to the moving life prints,

temporal place of poem skeletons, language of flesh -

before being blinds her scaffold, hangs it with animals

and flowers, four billion years of experimentation,

art of diversity. And the writing, continuous script,

was dancing - hearing that music in the darkness,

translated into spirals, fairground shapes; notation

culled from the birth of a universe, chemistry of life -

the whole world written in twisting silver spirals, still

writing – in attraction - loving, parting, replicating -

poems that are never still, connected to one another;

verses in one work, over and over, entitled Evolution;

for robin and man, leaf or worm, however elaborate,

whatever organic style, peacock or sparrow equal -

they spoke only a single communal word: Creation. The place where the secret of life is stored.’ DNA Items -  DNA Mouse Pad | Watson & Crick Bobbleheads| DNA Road Signs DNA Toy | DNA Crystal Cube | DNA Word Magnets | Gold Earrings | DNA Money Clip | DNA Beaker Mug | DNA Puzzle | DNA Magnet | DNA Floor Lamp | DNA Table Lamp | DNA Wall Clock | Sub Domain | DNA Poster | DNA Cards | Darwin Doll | Bumper Sticker | DNA Tattoo's |Cartoon Guide To Genetics | Black Lights | Beaker Mugs | DNA Trophy | Helical Jewelry | DNA earrings | Hemoglobin Cube | Polymerase Cube | Miscellaneous Jewelry | DNA Pins | Jurassic Parks Cells | Darwin Bust | DNA Trophy | DNA Tangles | Neck Ties | Music | Darwin Cards… DNA Ties -  Molecular:  TIE OF THE MONTH CLUB…The 'RNA Tie Club' was started by George Gamow in 1954 as an informal group of scientists who were working to "solve the riddle of RNA structure, and to understand the way it builds proteins." This is a modern day conversion of the old 'RNA Tie Club' - more centered on the structure of and functioning of DNA rather than RNA.’

‘Aristotle said the the ‘concept’ of a chicken is implicit in an egg, or that an acorn was literally ‘informed’ by the plan of an oak tree. When Aristotle’s dim perception of information theory, buried under generations of chemistry and physics, re-emerged amid the discoveries of modern genetics, Max Delbruck joked the Greek sage should be given a posthumous Nobel prize for the discovery of DNA.’ Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters, Fourth Estate, 2000

‘It is raining DNA outside. On the bank of the Oxford Canal at the bottom of my garden is a large willow tree, and it is pumping downy seeds into the air…The whole performance, cotton wool, catkins, tree and all, is in aid of one thing and one thing only, the spreading of DNA around the countryside…Not just any DNA, but DNA whose coded charcters spell out specific instructions for building willow trees that will shed a new generation of downy seeds. Those fluffy specks are, literally, spreading instructions for making themselves…It is raining instructions out there; it’s raining programs; it’s raining tree-growing, fluff-spreading, algorithms. That is not a metaphor, it is the plain truth. It couldn’t be any plainer if it were raining floppy disks. It is plain and it is true, but it hasn’t long been understood.’ Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1986

DNA Trails

Sunlight sparkles my own galaxy -

bustling imprinted dust halo; orbiting,

oscillating skin, nail, hair and blood.

Snakely coiled in each shedding cell,

miles of shining instruction;

silver strings, dewed web -


for all of me - my future;

my means and materials,

personal evolved chemistry,

written, knowing everything -

each particle of this dust could re-build me,

like a life raft, escape pod, flying earth, sky;

sent back into space without a compass -

each shed molecule a miracle overlooked.

And I think of my lifetime trail of dust DNA,

abroad on untold journeys through the world -

every day called ordinary, moulting secrets

of my being; into streets, homes, mountains,

restaurants - seas, rivers, supermarkets, moors;

my very essence shed like wild dandelion seed,

affecting Earth, possibility, the march of things

in ways we cannot know, or guess, comprehend,

though could be known, gifted omniscience;

winds spreading my germ even among stars,

wandering the lifeless moons, volatile, hostile

planets; cold galaxies looking for a new home.

And what reading do we do; inhaling,

breathing other people’s DNA, deep

in historic twin nose, lung, ancient brain,

heart - deciphering in three nanoseconds

four billion years of a slightly amended

story. On this difference does our liking

hinge, smaller than the angel-crowded

heads of pins, invisible to naked eyes -

dislike, repulsion, hatred; or just some yuk,

unease, discomfort, hanging round a man -

as dark halo - printed DNA we read as spiritual

and physical cloud - even as prickling darkness,

threat - black and yellow mental stripes -

danger, like poisonous frog, wasp, snake.

Or silver script; the grown immortal lines,

good poetry of a fine person - golden bee

clouds humming round their head, in air;

their winged cells, physical seed, shines.

Speed-reading; instinct and art, practise -

unconsciously judging products of Earth

for friendship, pity, tenderness, interest,

laughter; occasionally, love, advantage,

chemical compatability - chromosomal

dance-partnering, genetic story-binding -

instantaneous synthesised flash illuminating,

praying our own dust be so favourably read.

‘There is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all 30 volumes of it, three or four times over. There is enough storage capacity in the DNA of a single lily seed or a single salamander sperm to store the Encylopaedia Britannica 60 times over. Some species of the unjustly called ‘primitive amoebas’ have as much information in their DNA as 1,000 Encyclopaedia Britannicas.’ Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Longman Scientific and Technical, 1986

In the strange illuminations of night, I saw

one of my particles dance from the room –

silver now, courtesy of Moon; Vasco da Gama,

Columbus cell, willing further, onward to mild

summer darkness, blurred milky-blue -

shining small star of me, word of me,

my own holy recipe contained, encrypted -

me in potentia; chemical dream, possibility.

I blew, flustering, sparkling my script;

when light floundered behind a cloud,

still it shone, its light not wholly physical,

of course, having my nature; how natural,

innate, understanding of these properties,

aspects, combinations - metaphorical and

scientific, symbolic, mystical and chemical; 

our complex ease with mental and physical

existence, smooth interpretations, translation.

To what destination, my germ – possibilities;

canned knowledge of four billion years

of Evolution; what fragile hope resides -

seed-star, cell-pod, dust-root, fruit-speck;

yet there went the lily, tiger, flower, too –

O Generous Genome ark, enveloped letter;

in her latent wings, she folds all creatures

written since the first love of Chemistry

embraced two cells, began writing hearts

and eyes; her recipes all wonderful,

brutal in their deathly celebration -

she will coax life even from a stone -

nowhere may escape the breath of life,

operational even under water, on rock;

at extreme temperature, height, depth -

sail forth, small Ship of Man, journey -

to what end and place, story, her cargo;

to the near eye bright as foxy Venus -

with more life than the whole galaxy

in pregnant tenth-of-a-millimetre cells.

Organic promise; bottle, vessel, poem -

maybe she makes for poor dry Moon,

feverish planets - beautiful toxin, life-

germ; reaching a finger to her journey,

like snow, I shed more - always more,

more cells, by head-scratch, hand-rub,

undressing, sex; all these Me-galaxies,

carelessly strewn everywhere I’ve been,

all these places I have not, but am now -

most melting back to dust, as crushed atoms,

identity minced as glass-smeared molecules

of miraculous fly; to organic mess, devastation;

to be recycled - already I may be a green leaf -

the eye of an eagle, star-whisker of a mouse.

Each new use of life is the workings of light,

all possible bodies my scripted dust might build,

each one shines - as monument, love-reflection,

life-shrine, mother-organism - the fantastic result

of ongoing experimentation, creative composition.

DNA cannot help but be a poem; her nature is

a poem - her creatures, the reading in the dark. 

‘Perhaps the last thing to say about the double helix is that fifty years of ubiquity has almost institutionalised the idea in popular culture that the double helix as design is new. It isn't. Scientists reveal the truths inherent in nature. So just as DNA itself wasn't 'discovered' - it's always been there - the double helix as a design construct has been around a long time. It was employed in the grand staircase of Chambord (begun 1519) designed (probably) by Leonardo da Vinci for François I. Leonardo's employment of the double helix was done for purposes of secrecy: those ascending one helix would never see those descending the parallel helix. More than 400 years before the discovery of DNA's structure, Leonardo's push-me-pull-you staircase - a design with inherent tension - mirrored the oppositional pull of DNA's parallel sugar spines. Charles and Ray Eames understood that good design should be based on a democracy of distribution. Beauty coupled with affordability.  And their spirit of democracy mirrors that of the public human genome project that aims to make DNA an open source code. In nature as well as in man-made design, good designs succeed and poor designs eventually die off. So happy birthday DNA, and long live good DNA design.’ Denna Jones, Curator, TwoTen Gallery and Contemporary Initiatives, Wellcome Trust, 2003

‘The fundamantal laws of nature are part of the basic furniture of the world, and physical theories are telling us that this basic furniture is remarkably simple. If a theory of consciousness also involves fundamental principles, then we should expect the same.’ David Chalmers, Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness, 1995





Note from the author
exploring the project

    The Human Genome Project (1)
    The Word
    Genetic Transcription
    & Translation
    Nature of the Genome
    All Life is One

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