Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

Book Meme

by PhilipJ on 21 November 2005

In an effort to get our readers involved, lets have a book paragraph meme! Grab your closest biology/physics/biophysics book, turn to some appropriate page, and copy a paragraph to our comments section and we’ll all try and guess what book it is. Feel free to give the genre of the book. I’ll start us off with a paragraph from a biology book that I’m reading:

Z-DNA has a quite different structure. The helix is left-handed, and the sugar-phosphate backbone follows a zigzag path. The structure has been found for sequences with alternating G and C bases, such as CGCG and CGCGCG. Each cytosine has its sugar attached to the base in such a way that the pyrimidine ring swings away from the minor groove. This is the normal conformation for all four bases in A- and B-DNA. However, each guanine in Z-DNA has its sugar ring rotated 180o so that it bends inward towards the minor groove. The sugar-phosphate backbone of alternative C and G bases with their different conformations make a zigzag pattern around the helix. The shape of this helix is thin and elongated. It has a deep but quite narrow minor groove, whereas the major groove is pushed to the surface so that it is no longer a groove at all.

Take a guess, and post your own!

Comments don’t seem to be working, so I’ll post my comment here (if you have one, you can e-mail it to me or Phil until we get the comments working again):

Is it Introduction to Protein Structure by Carl Branden and John Tooze? :^)

How about this gem from popular science:

Was there to be any end to the gradual improvement in the techniques and artifices used by the replicators to ensure their own continuation in the world? There would be plenty of time for improvement. What weird engines of self-preservation would the millenia bring forth? Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? Tehy did not die out, for they are past masters fo the survival arts. But do not look for them floating in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago. Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, maipulating it by remote control. They are in you and in me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines.


  1. PhilipJ    4589 days ago    #
    Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.

    It seems as though comments are working if they aren’t done through pop-up windows. I’ll try to figure out why!
  2. PhilipJ    4589 days ago    #
    Also, yes, you are correct!

    As for yours, it is a quote from the wonderful The Selfish Gene by none other than Richard Dawkins. If you can believe it, I only got around to reading that book a few months ago!
  3. PhilipJ    4589 days ago    #
    Further “strangeness”, the comments seem to work again in popup mode.

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