The New Year brings with it a collective “and now for something completely different” mood. A closing of one chapter and the opening of another.
For RTB scholar Fazale “Fuz” Rana, it means the end of the writing stage for his upcoming book (working title Life in the Lab). For the editorial team, it means picking up the baton and running full speed toward the copyediting process (among other things). This is my favorite part of the process—not only do I get to do what I love (edit), but I also get a sneak peek at the scholars’ next book. Bonus!
But of all the books I’ve had an advance look at, there’s one that holds within it the best sentence ever written—at least from this editor’s perspective: “The proofreading and editing steps are critical.” Fuz Rana penned these words in his most recent book, The Cells’ Design. Though Maureen and I might tease that he’s talking about the proofing and editing we do, he’s instead referring to the important work performed by “activating enzymes.”
Fuz breaks it down like this. There are 20 different amino acids involved in protein synthesis, and each has its own transfer RNA (tRNA) molecule. The tRNA molecule must attach to the right amino acid; otherwise there are errors. As with words in a sentence, if you get the wrong amino acid you have gibberish.
In writing, the editorial process can, at times, seem superfluous—especially when deadlines are looming—but a quick review might prevent an embarrassing mistake. In the case of the activating enzymes, the proofing stage serves as a quality-control checkpoint for proper tRNA binding. And the work that these microscopic editors take on requires “exacting attention to every imaginable detail.”
So quite literally, there’s an editor in every one of us. Or as Fuz puts it, “When I say the editors get under my skin, they really do.” Touché.
This biochemical fine-tuning “further highlights the exceptional ingenuity that defines the cell’s chemistry and reinforces the conclusion that life has a supernatural basis…. Such precise attention to detail clearly indicates a supreme intelligence at work.”
Whether big or small, Christ’s hand is evident in all his creation.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
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