In The Field

HUGO: The language of our genes

Ask people what they associate with Finland and the one thing everyone mentions is they’ve heard the language is fiendishly difficult. It certainly is—especially, if, like me, you are trying to get an uncooperative ( and non-English speaking) ticket machine to sell you a train ticket back to your hotel after a long day at the Human Genome Meeting in Helsinki. Still, the experience does make me sympathise with the scientists who are trying to decode the information encrypted in our DNA. Because if my Berlitz pocket phrasebook is anything to go by, it seems as though the human genome is written in Finnish. 

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