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January 2, 2012

A Little Chemistry

Could you believe it's been more than a month since my last post? Let us not part ways for so long in the near future.

So what did I do last month? I upgraded my Linux distro. I'm learning about Arduino. I'm thinking of taking up learning Chinese. And I finally understand organic chemistry well enough, that I made these two diagrams representing the four basic nucelic acids attached to deoxyribose sugar.

Deoxyadenosine and Deoxythymidine bonded by hydrogen atoms
Deoxyadenosine and Deoxythymidine bonded by hydrogen atoms
Deoxyguanosine and Deoxycytidine bonded by hydrogen atoms
Deoxyguanosine and Deoxycytidine bonded by hydrogen atoms

These were made with a program called GChemPaint Chemical Structures Editor. It's rediculously buggy!

It is my hope this year to make an income such that I can rebuild my desktop computer such that I can work on more complex molecules. From what I read from websites about organic chemistry on the subject of DNA, the concept is remarkably similar to the study of automata theory in computer science. The nucleic acids form the codon sequences where there is a inital state (Ade-Thy-Gua) and three final states (Thy-Ade-Ade, Thy-Ade-Gua, and Thy-Gua-Ada). (In case you are wondering, Ade is short of Adenine, Thy is short of Thymine, and Gua is short for Guanine.) The idea is very similar to the concept of finte state automata. Your four input nucleic acids (input) can produce twenty amino acids (ouput) on a chain (tape) millons of molecules long! Like a tiny Turing Machine.

I'll probably add this project to the list of side projects I have. I wonder if the folks at Washington University in St. Louis have figured it out yet. It's been a while since there's been a big announcement from the Genome Insitute or event Human Genome Project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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