DNA sequences have been depicted in many ways. I have seen them color coded, to highlight certain features. Jacques Ninio proposed a geometric representation in which each base was shown as an arrow drawn at a particular angle to the previous one to capture the global properties of a gene in an abstract pattern. The most amusing was Susumu Ohno's transformation of sequences into music; he would play recordings of these little etudes during his lectures, noting which genes were Mozartian and which were Chopinesque. To those trying to find the true meaning of gene sequences, these seemed trivial and irrelevant pursuits, but I was very impressed and thought that they could provide new insights in the field of genetics, if not into genes then at least into geneticists.

It was after hearing Ohno talk at a meeting in Japan that I discovered that there may be a whole...

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