Packing Long Strings

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Sailors have long known the most efficient way to pack rope or string is by folding it into perpetual figure 8 loops. This efficient packing (which is really a compressed helix) has also been observed in nature. Many proteins are coiled into helices. The DNA Double Helix is an instantly recognised icon of modern science. Such aesthetically pleasing structures have now been shown to be the optimal solution to a difficult problem - how to tightly pack very long strings without getting them tangled. DNA and proteins are very close to the most optimal structure determined by computer simulation described in Nature, Vol. 406, p251 and p287, 20 July 2000. "Is this an insight or coincidence?" ask mathematicians Andrzej Stasiak and John Maddocks who reply to their own question "We suspect it is the former."

Editorial Comment: Stasiak and Maddocks are correct. Such optimal structures are the result of plan and purpose by the Creator who gave space and matter their basic properties and knew well how to fit the most volume of one into the least space of the other. (Ref. design, DNA, protein)

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