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Creation Translation

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(Claude Monet)

There are three very famous letters in biology: D-N-A. We all know it as the Book of Life, the recipe to make you you. But how, exactly, does nature turn all that gobbledy-gook genetic stuff into the flesh and blood of YOU? Science writer Carl Zimmer tells us the story of DNA's translating sidekick, who might actually be the main attraction.

Guests:

Carl Zimmer

Comments [10]

chris jones from United States

I loved this episode especially the poetry segment. Thanks for the creative work.
Sorry this comment wasn't more creative...

Mar. 06 2015 01:04 PM
TE Winter

I also can't believe that RadioLab gave all the credit to Watson and Crick with no mention of Rosalind Franklin. Extremely disappointing that you're perpetuating this sexist inaccuracy by failing to recognize her crucial contributions to pioneering DNA research.

Jan. 17 2015 06:49 PM
Lyle Harris from Creation Translation

Great coverage guys- you open the code factory and we must START to ask the politically incorrect answer WHO WROTE THE CODE!!!! & WHO CREATED THE MACHINERY !!!! just askin'

Jan. 17 2015 12:55 PM
James Olson-Lee from Sacramento, CA

Interesting- "...RNA is needed to translate the DNA..." what about the origin of the RNA?
Possible translation of "... made in the image of God"? That the real origin lies in the non-physical realm- an energy field of super intelligence, or from a taoist perspective, "The Great Mystery"...

I also find it very fascinating that atoms are mostly space...

Jan. 14 2015 05:12 PM
Jareth from Brooklyn

I usually have no beef whatsoever with the background information RadioLab uses to set the stage for a story. But Watson and Crick did not discover the structure of DNA. Rosalind Franklin did, then we research partners stole her research and accepted the Nobel price after she died from radiation poisoning.
More information: http://takebackhalloween.org/rosalind-franklin/

Nov. 13 2014 10:11 PM
Jeremy H. from USA

I was a little surprised by this segment. RadioLab's science reporting always gives the impression of being thorough and trustworthy, allowing those of us in the audience to relax and enjoy being educated. I think this segment is the first I've heard on RadioLab on a topic in which I have some actual expertise--I work with fungal ribosomal DNA and RNA. For that reason, it's the first time I've been aware of RadioLab getting something major fundamentally wrong. Ribosomes are not translated; they're not made of proteins. Ribosomes are RNA structures; along with mRNA, tRNA, and a few others, rRNA (ribosomal RNA) is one of the major places RNA appears in the cell. There are some ribosomal proteins, also, but there's no good reason to think that those proteins are ancestral, as opposed to derived, characters of the ribosome.
I've heard from others in the sciences that whenever they hear reporters discussing their pet subjects, they're shocked at the basic errors being made. This is the first time I've experienced that. I'm a little surprised in came from RadioLab!

Nov. 10 2014 10:19 PM
Jeremy H. from USA

I was a little surprised by this segment. RadioLab's science reporting always gives the impression of being thorough and trustworthy, allowing those of us in the audience to relax and enjoy being educated. I think this segment is the first I've heard on RadioLab on a topic in which I have some actual expertise--I work with fungal ribosomal DNA and RNA. For that reason, it's the first time I've been aware of RadioLab getting something major fundamentally wrong. Ribosomes are not translated; they're not made of proteins. Ribosomes are RNA structures; along with mRNA, tRNA, and a few others, rRNA (ribosomal RNA) is one of the major places RNA appears in the cell.
I've heard from others in the sciences that whenever they hear reporters discussing their pet subjects, they're shocked at the basic errors being made. This is the first time I've experienced that. I'm a little surprised in came from RadioLab!

Nov. 10 2014 10:16 PM
Dan Elder from Moline, IL

I just listened to the "Translations" episode and loved it. The ending of the RNA segment mentioned the Bible, Translations and the Bible could be an entire episode of its own! Think about the word "the"... It's a trivial word really but think of the tremendous impact a mistranslation of that word would have, specifically within the first sentence of the Bible. What if the word "the" was mistranslated and should have been "a"? "In a begining God created the heavens and the Earth..." One simple article could change the entire meaning of the Bible!

Nov. 10 2014 01:38 AM
Padraic Ingle

First, this whole episode was awesome! Thanks for taking the time to look at the philosophy language; Wittgenstein would be proud.

Second, ending it on a theory of origins note...brilliant!

Nov. 01 2014 01:46 PM
Chael MacDonald

This depicts, to some extent, the chicken and egg relationship between RNA and the ribosome.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2XOhgRJVb4

Oct. 28 2014 03:46 AM

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