Topic: A Lesson on cells, and DNA

Friday, July 30, 2010 5:06 PM By Stephen J Christophers

I’m going to give you all a little lesson: a lesson in teaching; it takes three elements for a good lesson; firstly, a story; secondly, a fact; and lastly a little comedy.

Topic: A basic lesson in cells, and the information stored in DNA:

Story: One day a senior developer at a company I worked for reprimanded me by saying; “Ben, why do you always insist in wanting to know every aspect of what every department does and why?" I couldn't answer,"That’s ... just stupid!” he said. He made me feel a little stupid, to be honest. He finished his dismissal by saying, “...do you really think it's common sense to have every employee know every little bit of information about what’s going on in the company; rather it’s like having every piece of programmed hardware in a system carrying all the same software and data as every other piece of hardware; instead of just that which it requires to carry out it’s own task or functions. I suggest you stick to what you know, and get back to work.”

This troubled me for years, I know, you shouldn’t let little thing worry you, I had a valid point, I suppose, so did he, in some respects, in my need for information and insight into other facets of the companies workings, I felt I could perform my task better. Although, his point seemed in context, correct, from a functional and social stand point - I had no come-back for it, at the time.

Fact: Anyway, one day I read about cells, and how each living organism contained millions or even billions of cells, each containing a thing called DNA. To quote Wikipedia, as all lazy people do; “DNA contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms… The main role of DNA molecules are the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints,” held in each cell - like a large instruction manual - and therefore, liken to... lets use the metaphor: plans/rooms/buildings - also, lifted from a book i read - "a set of plans reside in each and every room of a million room building; otherwise, the entire set of instructions for that building are contained separatly like volumes of an encyclopedia in each room, and could in fact be used as an manual to construct a whole new and entire copy of that particularly building!

That got me thinking again - a dangerous hobby - then, "why does your asshole need to know what your face looks like?" And, so it was… nature prefers organic system to contain such complex sets of instructions, in seemingly, the most passive of it's biological components - a cell which contains DNA with the potential to bring me to the conclusion: he might have been very wrong in his initial assumptions, as biological systems contradict his statement. Then why so is the question?

Our next lesson will follow on the path of genetics: looking into the corruption of systems, and why indeed, “your asshole needs to know what your face looks like."

I would like to leave you with this Joke, to end today’s lesson:

Comedy: Next time your boss makes you feel like the little man; and tells you you don’t need to know that… asking such information is unnecessary, it’s not your department, or, of any concern of yours, you can tell him or her, “But, seriously, you know, your asshole knows what your face looks like." Hmmm...

Music to Inspire : : Bachelors Of Science - The Ice Dance : :

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