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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Roof, Roof

I readily buy into fiction. Give me a character with whom I can even partially identify, and you’ve got a pretty gullible subscriber. Carolyn Parkhurst, in The Dogs of Babel, needed only to introduce Paul, a depressed linguistics professor, and I was hooked. Paul fell in love with Lexy, his recently departed wife, for her spontaneity, creativity and inability to filter her emotions through socially conservative screens. These qualities are quite contrasting to Paul’s. He is methodical and stoic. Her death, however, triggers a scientifically and morally questionable project. It is a grind watching Paul struggle to find patterns where perhaps none exist and hope for outcomes that will assuredly never happen. In his effort to piece together his wife’s last moments, his own life falls apart.

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