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DNA as Software

For many, the best analogy for the way DNA works is that it's like a computer program at the heart of every cell. Some of its programming tricks bear an uncanny resemblance to ones the human brain has dreamed up. But DNA also works in ways human programmers find entirely alien. David Kestenbaum takes the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first scientific description of DNA to speak with researchers trying to understand this odd and extraordinary piece of "software," which is the product of billions of years of evolution.

Copyright 2003 NPR

David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.