If I had an alien or an uninformed observer looking over my shoulder at work I am sure they would think that I have the weirdest job in the world. Sometimes I think I have the weirdest job in the world. And I am not just referring to plaint hairstyling.
Sometimes when I receive a DNA sequence file I have to correct some of the letters because the sequencing machine reads them incorrectly. But if you didn't know what I was doing it would appear as if I am just making up random letters and modifying them how I want.
Sometimes I feel like my job is to sit there and type random letters for a living.
As an experiment I typed some random letters of the DNA variety and did a search to see if my random letters matched anything out there in the real world.
Here are my letters:
Those random letters partly matched genes from rice, the zebra fish, the weed that I happen to work on, a watermelon virus, a thingamajiggy called Medicago truncatula, and a wotsadoodah called Populus trichocarpa.
You see, it was that easy. With a wave of my fingers, I conjured up bits of genes.
If I make the string of letters any longer it no longer matches anything, but I reckon if you had x
amount of monkeys on typewriters (where x = loads) and y amount of time (where y = probably quite a long time) one of them could eventually type out the human genome. Of course by then the sun will have swallowed the earth, but monkeys are patient.
So while I am not just putting whatever letter I feel like into my sequences to spice them up or anything, I could if I wanted to. I could type a g instead of a c and turn a plant growth gene into a jellyfish mating gene. Oh yes, I have the power.
MWAHAHAHA <=== evil mad scientist laugh.
Aside: I wonder if the letters:
translate to any kind of gene, like say a bowel movement gene perhaps, or maybe one for sphincter diameter?
I have to wonder these things to entertain myself, otherwise the tedium of typing random letters for a living may start to make me go mad and ... oh I dunno, go give plants makeovers or something.