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How to shock a 21-year-old

Tell them about how, when you were young, you had a boyfriend who lived 45 minutes away. That was a long-distance call, so it was Very Expensive to talk on the phone. For that reason you only called one another on weekends, and during the week you wrote each other letters. On paper.

Yes. This was 1991-1992. Twenty years ago.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
Came here from jwz's lj comments thread. What is your user pic of? I noticed your lj background looks somewhat similar to a transit map.
Jul. 9th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
It's the secondary structure of the E. coli 16S ribosomal RNA. My PhD thesis research is on ribosome assembly. :-)
Jul. 9th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
The secondary structure of the E. Coli 16s ribosomal RNA looks a lot like an abstract map of the Chicago (green) Dallas-St. Louis (Red) and Northeast train systems. That blue bit would be NYC to Richmond I suppose :)

Do you have a bigger version of this, or clickable links to put this in context for me?
Jul. 9th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Sure. So, not sure if you remember this from high school bio or whatever, but ribosomes are the cellular machines that make all the proteins in all living things. They are pretty much the same in bacteria right on up to people. They are machines made of RNA (similar to DNA, but a little different), which was a big exciting thing to learn and only came out a decade or so ago. Most cellular machines are proteins.

I think these images from UCSC are pretty and give you the right idea, though they lack a couple of important details. Specifically this would be the direct equivalent to my icon. As I mention this is the secondary--the 2D--structure. The tertiary, or 3D, structure can be seen in this image. The 16S rRNA specifically is shown on the left in turquoise. So the turquoise and indigo parts on the left are the 30S ribosome (turquoise is RNA, indigo is protein), the gray, magenta and purple parts on the right are the 50S ribosome (gray and purple are RNA, magenta is protein) and the tRNAs are orange.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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