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10:06 AM Mon, Sept. 24th

Letter: DNA molecule is actually quite simple

EDITOR:

I am responding to a July 25 letter published in the "Our Readers Speak" section of the Courier. The writer states that "The DNA molecule is far more complex than anyone ever imagined" and "We have discovered so much information within the DNA molecule, which is also in a three-dimensional coded pattern.... "

The DNA molecule is wonderfully simple in the way it codes information within its structure. There are only four different elements, or letters, which are sequenced in sets of three to code for the 20 or so amino acids, which make up our proteins. Our written language is a code, which is orders of magnitude more complex than the relatively simple DNA code.

The DNA molecule is three-dimensional as is just about every other object which has mass, but the DNA code is linear. Elements of the code are arranged in a line to form informational units just as letters of the alphabet are arranged linearly to form words - no three-dimensionality to the DNA code.

A three-dimensional code would be one that identifies points in space, describes trajectories or orbits, and other conditions that must be described in three distinct dimensions.

Allan Arnold

Prescott