Tag Archives: science

Drawing the Genome

Suppose we do the following:

Let A = MOVE LEFT 1 UNIT;
Let C = MOVE DOWN 1 UNIT;
Let G = MOVE RIGHT 1 UNIT;
Let T = MOVE UP 1 UNIT; 

Then we can map any genome into a random walk, a kind of Etch A Sketch with DNA as the commands. The result might be interesting as a sort of message/art.

Here are a few examples.

bacteriophage MS2

Bacteriophage MS2, a virus.

Phi X 174

Bacteriophage Φ-X174, another virus.

Canis lupus familiaris

A small section of the genome of Canis lupus familiaris, the dog.

Seems like a promising premise for a story…

The quick-and-dirty script I hacked up for drawing these can be found here.

Life on Gliese 581g

Back in August, Shelly Li and I wrote a short story together (which you’ll see soon) that conjectured about the existence of life on the “fourth planet orbiting Gliese 581”).

From Space.com, today:

Unlike Gliese 581c, the newfound planet Gliese 581g looks much more hospitable. It is orbiting within the habitable zone of its parent star.

Liquid water could exist on some part of the planet’s surface, which seems to have an average temperature between minus 24 and minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 31 to minus 12 degrees Celsius). Gliese 581g completes an orbit every 37 days or so.

Gliese 581g is the fourth planet around the star.

Sometimes we get it right :)