Tuesday, October 26, 2004

All the music of life seems to be...

The current issue of Nature announces an updated draft of the human genome. Along with the journal came a wall-sized poster of all 24 human chromosomes mapped out like the score of a symphony. I've included here chromosomes 19 and 20, two of the smallest, each 63 megabases long (63 million rungs on a DNA double helix, 63 million notes in a score that is 3 billion notes long). The lettering is too small to read, but the vertical words along the bottom identify specific genes. The red names are genes for disease. Other info designates such things as overlap of human DNA with that of a mouse.

I wish I could offer you here the full poster, the entire magnificent score for human life, written in a music of just four notes and playing incessantly in every cell of my body...like a bell that is ringing for me.