Sheer Numbers!
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Sheer Numbers!

What the hell has DNA got to do with blogging? I suspect that is the question you are asking at the moment. To which my answer is that at this very moment I don't know!

I'm working on it!

I am re-reading Bill Bryson's book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" at the moment and some of the information it contains is truly startling! The human body, yes even mine - as unfit, old and overweight as it is, stands out as being a marvelous piece of engineering.

Do you realise that coiled up inside the average human body there is as much as 20 million kilometres of DNA? This amazing little chemical, as I hope you all know, is what makes us who and what we are.

Every human on earth (well apart from the odd astronaut there aren't any others) is comprised of cells, many billions of them and each of those cells contains within it a nucleus and within the nucleus are 46 little chromosomes, twenty-three from your father and twenty-three from your mother.

Each of those chromosomes are made of long strands of DNA, there is nearly 2 metres of it crammed into every cell and each length of DNA comprises close to 3.2 billion letters of coding. To give you an idea of the sort of quantity I am talking about, to print that amount of coding would take five thousand average-size books!

Now I read! In fact I read voraciously, I average two books a week but even at that rate it would take me another fifty years to read five thousand books. Thinking about it now, I have probably read that number already!

Wow! Isn't it strange how things can creep up on you? I had never considered that before, that's close to 110 thousand million words! ( I must apologise here to our American friends, I am one of the old school who still hold to the idea that a Billion has twelve zeros after the numeral!) To compare with that number I have just calculated that I have only written about 15 million words in my lifetime.

Quite a disparity there! Strange, this post seems to be taking on a life of it's own, all about numbers or quantities So far in my life I have taken about 21 thousand million breaths which means I have inhaled (and exhaled) about 10 thousand million litres of air!

Enough! No more! That's quite enough out of a post that started of it's own volition really. I kicked it off and it just took over, I guess it shows just how left-brained I am!

More soon


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