Tentacle arms in I surrender pose; Look closer, though: each is made of zips.
The microtubal slider is drawn down Their lines sag open, yawn, and through
These smallest needle-eyes emerge Men, elephants and whales; bulked biospheres:
A meta boa's swallow in reverse. This isn't a surrender: they've all won.
The arms are up in celebration. --linkurl:Adam Roberts;http://www.adamroberts.com/ In addition to an open call for submissions, MacLeod extended a few pointed invitations, including one to Roberts and another to microbiologist-turned-writer linkurl:Alma Alexander.;http://www.almaalexander.com/ "It's been kind of fun to go back to the science," Alexander says. Roberts, whose background is in the humanities, was similarly enthused by the project. After a quick Wikipedia search and a bit of reading about what chromosomes do, he penned a poem and a short story called The Chrome Chromosome to the project. "There is a great wealth of popular science writing for non-experts like me," he says. "It's not hard to figure out the basics." Alexander's inspiration was a bit more personal. After watching her godmother's mother slip deeper into the dementia that would eventually take her life, Alexander decided to write a story entitled "The Code of Forgetting" about the genetics of senility. "I could have picked a lot of things but that one resonated," she says. "One of the great joys of science fiction is that it's both the science and the fiction," Roberts says. "It takes what might otherwise be dry, factual, scientific data and enables writers to do something interesting with that." The Human Genre Project "seems like a marvelous project," Swanwick agrees. "Having the genome mapped is only a couple of years old so we're all very unfamiliar with the content. I think it's really a wonderful entry into understanding the genome." Presenting the information in such an informal way also makes it easier for nonscientists to digest, Alexander says. "There's always this astonished stare when you tell people you're only a couple of base pairs away from a chimpanzee or for that matter a dolphin," she says. "But ease them into it by a story or a poem, and they'll start thinking about it in a whole different way."
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Minding the human genome gap;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55754/
[9th June 2009]*linkurl: Rhyme and reason;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53489/
[17th August 2007]*linkurl:The Human Genome Project +5;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23065/
[ February 2006]