I have never had to go to the hospital. My mom says that it is because I have the good genes in the family. But while I entertain this suggestion, others are quick to point out my near blindness, ovarian cysts and chronic ear infections. While I do not have the best genes in the family however, I do know the most about them.
My sister told me to write anything that I wanted about genetics. I told her this would be like if I told her to write anything she wanted about English--a task which she (being a massive dork) thought would be fun. She forgot that I hate genetics with the exception of the after class giggles about my professor's camel toe. With only a shallow knowledge of genetics, everything is intuitive, but once I exited the realm of the Punnett Squares and Gregor Mendel I was introduced to intricacies of DNA that made it seem further from the logical explanation as the basic unit of life.
My biochemistry professor would disagree. He believes that DNA is "God's word." When I told Sara this, she cracked up, especially when I added that he carries the entire human genome on his keychain, and he has the genome of a famous bacteriophage programmed to music on his Palm Pilot with each nucleotide represented by a musical note (G,C,A,T--some other letter on the 8-note scale represents T). He plays this song to us as evidence of a pattern in the genetic code. I think it sounds nice.
When my professor first introduced this idea, a student in my class said, "All geniuses are crazy." At first, I agreed with him, but soon it became clear to me that this was not at all different from how God speaks to Kabbalists through the Torah (remember Darren Aronofsky's film Pi? I do because Sara made me watch it), and that the DNA that programs living organisms is very similar to the codes my sister will be using to put this paper onto her website.
When I visited my sister in Minneapolis last year, I looked at her bookshelf and said to her "I can't believe all that is inside your head." She occasionally refers to this moment, and tells me that she can't believe all the stuff about biology, chemistry, physics, etc. that I have in my head. As I've reflected about genetic codes in the course of writing this short piece, I've realized that the projects Sara and I are involved in are both very much about reading and definitely about translation. When I say translation, I don't mean between languages (like when Sara and I jokingly played Axis Powers at dinner when she took German classes at Rutgers and I took Italian). I'm thinking more so about translations between genotype and phenotype, DNA code and musical notes, the Torah and the Kabbalah, and between literal and figurative language. I guess we both have a lot of different stuff in our brain, but we have a lot of the same stuff in our genes.