28 December 2014

Genetic slippage

SNPs - single neuclotide polymorphisms, pronounced "snips" - are the most common genetic variation. They are very small - replacing a single "letter" in DNA - and quite common, occuring about once every 300 neuclotides, which means there are about 10 million in the human genome. If written language had so many letters out of place, would we be able to understand it?

Most SNPs have no effect on health or development. Many typos in printed language have no effect on comprehension. A SNP in or close to a gene can affect its function; a slip in a word ... well, see for yourself - here are Jane Lackey's examples, printed on the book cover:

(Seen at the Wellcome Collection, November 2012.)
Other works in the series (via)

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