A month back, Johns Hopkins University researchers made big news with their conclusion from the analysis of scientific papers that in two thirds of cases, human cancers are due to randomly generated DNA errors, which I posted about here:
This resulted in Darren Saunders, Laboratory Head at Garvan Institute responding with this reasonably technical article that explains how cancers originate from mutations that occur during DNA replication:
Even if you don't read the article, just watch the video animation showing the process of DNA replication. Most of us would know how DNA forms a double helix, with this discovery earning Watson and Crick a Nobel Prize back in 1962. The article also mentions the astounding fact that if the DNA from just one human cell which is not even visible to the naked eye, is 2 metres long when unravelled! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA
It's mind boggling to know that that 2 metre long molecule is assembled from just four bases arranged in pairs [guanine (G), adenine (A), thymine (T), and cytosine (C)], with the patterns of those base pairs defining how proteins are made and further, that each self powered cell contains the means to unzip the DNA, duplicate and correct the errors in that extremely long chain and then fold it back up - all within a cell you can't see without a microscope. We all came from just one such cell that contained both the code for a unique human being - YOU and the means to make every cell when and where needed.
And we think computer technology is impressive and call our phones 'smart'...
Photo: Sheoak (Casuarina) in blossom