Evidence from language, history and form suggest an analogy between the cinema and the genome. The author describes some of the relationships between cinema and the genome and points to opportunities for discovering unmarked categories within the genome and new methods of representation. This is accomplished by evaluating existing metaphors presented for the understanding of genetics and revealing how current scientific understanding and social concerns suggest a cinematic alternative. The formal principles of function, difference and development mediate discussion and serve as heuristics for investigating creative opportunities.

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