Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 08 May '14 07:45 / 5 edits
    http://phys.org/news/2014-05-scientists-transmits-added-letters-dna.html

    I find this fascinating stuff although very skeptical of the said applications of

    "will have many exciting applications—from new medicines to new kinds of nanotechnology."

    -somehow, I don't think so, because I would imagine that those advances would happen in other ways. Although it is bound to have some useful applications, somehow I don't think it would be to the great extent that they imagine. I think it is best to drop the unrealistic hype. Still, that said, very interesting!
  2. 08 May '14 09:56
    Makes me think of fifth element. Here's normal DNA, you, me, anyone, right? This DNA is
    the same as ours, only infitely more of it, densely packed. It's, for lack of a better word,
    perfect. Almost like this being was engineered.

    Now I don't know why I would think of that line, as it has little to do with this, but there it is.
  3. 08 May '14 10:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Makes me think of fifth element. Here's normal DNA, you, me, anyone, right? This DNA is
    the same as ours, only infitely more of it, densely packed. It's, for lack of a better word,
    perfect. Almost like this being was engineered.

    Now I don't know why I would think of that line, as it has little to do with this, but there it is.
    Oh yes, the fifth element, where the Doctor said;

    "Normal human beings have 40 DNA memo groups. This has 200,000 memo groups."

    But what is a "memo group" in the fifth element? -does anyone know?
    I Googled this and got zilch so it doesn't appear to be a scientific term. Perhaps they meant types of DNA codons? But if they meant types of DNA bases then I am afraid they got that wildly wrong with "40" of them for humans! we have just 4 of them. To have 200,000 types of DNA bases would be pretty absurd I think with a huge biological cost of having thousand if not millions of extra enzymes checking and repairing each type to correct for mutations. And just think how much more complex the copying process would be! and how many extra enzymes would be needed to make those extra 200,000 types of DNA bases! My best intuitive guess is that 4 types of genetic bases is actually about optimum so I am guessing here nature just happened to get it about right here!
  4. 08 May '14 12:38
    Originally posted by humy
    Perhaps they meant types of DNA codons?
    No, what they meant was 'something sciency sounding that will sound good in a movie line'.
  5. 08 May '14 13:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, what they meant was 'something sciency sounding that will sound good in a movie line'.
    LOL
    In other words, they were talking nonsense.
  6. 08 May '14 14:29
    Originally posted by humy
    But what is a "memo group" in the fifth element? -does anyone know?
    It's obviously just a cool sounding term invented for the movie, but I found this link where
    it's suggested the that the screen writer may have been thinking of telomeres. It's an
    interesting suggestion, though (as the page points out) to talk about the perfect cell is
    somewhat dubious. What is a perfect cell? How could it be defined?

    It was an entertaining read, I think:

    http://moviesunderthemicroscope.blogspot.se/2008/08/how-not-to-make-perfect-being-fifth.html?m=1
  7. 08 May '14 14:49
    I personally think the scrip writers for science fiction should be scientists or at least people that know a lot about real science so that the script makes as much actual scientific sense as it can given the constraints of the plot. I know that science fiction is supposed to be fiction be definition, but that is still no excuse to make the dialog complete nonsense from the perspective of real science. It is, after all, always possible to make it as scientifically accurate as possible short of letting making that compromise its entertainment value if one really thinks about the script very carefully and intelligently.