Various metaphors are used to explain the central role of DNA in a cell to laypersons. These include blueprint, recipe, catalogue, instruction manual etc. I even heard someone describing DNA as a 'boss' that yells orders.

Here are some interesting ones:

  1. An ancestral archive
  2. An archeological site
  3. A prison (retroviruses and transposons)
  4. A computer
  5. A deck of cards
  6. A clock

What are some useful metaphors that help to explain DNA function?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You just answered your question 11 times, if I count correctly. What is it you wish to know? Other metaphors? If yes, I think such a discussion-type question should be posted in chat, not on the main site. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Nov 13 '20 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ It is clearly off-topic, but this doesn't appear to be homework @John. & homework questions aren't off-topic. Only if they do not conform to the other rules. $\endgroup$
    – user438383
    Nov 13 '20 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ I answered. What about you? Good metaphors are essential to conveying complex or domain information and a pillar of education. Have a try! $\endgroup$
    – haz
    Nov 15 '20 at 2:24

It is a program executed by transcriptase (processor) inside a cell core (computer).

  • $\begingroup$ Since this is an off-topic question (it is opinion rather than fact based), it is better left unanswered. For future posts please note that answers are much more likely to receive a favorable response if you include supporting references (primary literature is best). Without that support, your answer is indistinguishable from opinion. This is a good example of how to format references. ——— Please take the tour and then consult the help center pages for additional advice on How to Answer effectively on this site. Thank you! 😊 $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Nov 13 '20 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ Thats my intuition also - that 'computation' is occurring in the transcriptome rather than the genome $\endgroup$
    – haz
    Nov 15 '20 at 2:27

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