Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Get your cell on

Who was I kidding. Midnight blogging rocks.

This animation of macromolecules, organelles, and cells is so beautiful that when I watched it I almost urinated streams of live bees out my tear ducts.

I found it on Scott Aaronson's blog, and in the comments to the same post I found this interesting Q&A:

Every male human is continually producing reproductive DNA in his testes. If the net DNA production of a single human male were unspooled as a single thread, the net linear rate of DNA production would most nearly be:

(a) a snail's pace
(b) human walking pace
(c) human running speed
(d) the speed of a car
(d) the speed of a jet fighter plane
(e) the orbital velocity of the space shuttle


Answer: human testes synthesize linear DNA at orbital velocity -- on the order of 100 terabytes of information is spooled out every second.

Yet on the other hand, this requires only that a few tens of nanograms of DNA be synthesized per second, which is easily handled by rather compact (air-cooled and paired for redundancy) organs.

No wonder we guys do so much of our thinking down there! Ba-dump-bump-ksssshhhhh.


A quick search revealed that the kickass music from that clip is by Matt Berky at Massive Productions. You can download the 8-minute MP3 for, uh, $25. Nice business model, dude. If you'd charged two or even three dollars I'd have gladly paid. As it is, I gotta beg my readers to send me the pirate version if any of them get a hold of it. Por favor.

Seriously. Has the lesson of iTunes been utterly lost on this guy?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! [swipes hand dismissively like a crotchety old coot]

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