Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Future Is Now, Vol LXXIX: RNA Origami

John Rinn studies large intervening non coding RNA, transcribed from the "junk" part of the genome in between the protein-coding segments. He says that among other things, it manages the conformational structure of the DNA, determining the differentiation of cells. He also skateboards.
What are you reading now?

Good to Great by Jim Collins. I was hooked by the sentence: “The enemy of great is good.” Other than that, perhaps most of my nonscientific reading occurs perusing snowboarding and skateboarding magazines with a cup of coffee at a bookstore. The way these athletes push boundaries inspires me scientifically.

Before finding science I was actually focused on a snowboarding and skateboarding career, and academics took a backseat to those loves at that time. But several severe injuries, an influential book, and a consequent shift in perspective changed that path dramatically. I now see risk-taking science as similar to skating or boarding. “Go big, or get hurt,” as we say. Practicing tricks over and over is like an experiment. Moreover, connecting a series of tricks down a mountain or while skateboarding for a beautiful run is a metaphor to me for connecting various lines of experimental results.

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