Why it’s dangerous to liken DNA to computer code

Watson and Crick with a model of DNA, the code of biological life, in 1953. Photograph: A Barrington Brown/Science Photo Library Afew days ago, on my way to a discussion in the exquisite little McCrum theatre, which is hidden away in the centre of Cambridge, I had to pass through the courtyard of the Eagle pub in Bene’t Street. As I did so, I suddenly remembered that this is the hostelry where, on 28 February 1953, Francis Crick, rushing in from the nearby Cavendish Lab, announced to astonished lunchers that he and James Watson…

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