By mixing soapy water, oil and the theory of information, a physicist has found a possible clue to the origin of the genetic code, as well as to the structure of other biochemical languages.
Life’s workhorse molecules are made from only 20 different
types of amino acids, encoded in the chemical makeup of DNA. In principle, DNA
could code for about three times that many, 64 possible combinations. Comparing
the genetic code with the physics of soapy water suggests an explanation for
why nature chose 20 as an optimal number, Tsvi Tlusty of the Weizmann Institute
of Science in
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