"Most of our understanding of science likes to reference common structures. Atomic structure is like the solar system, crystal structure is like tinker toys, and we love to anthropomorphise the mechanisms of pretty much everything in the body. Neurons are said to "talk." The brain's processes are described to resemble thinking. RNA is said to "read" sequences of amino acids encoding proteins. This article says that if we try to reduce a gene to something we already know, we may never understand its complexities."
"However, the crystal structure is like a frozen image of the enzyme and it does not show how it actually operates; in the same way it is difficult to see today how King Charles II was a successful womanizer from his formal portraits."
Human Drug Metabolism: An Introduction
"It's sometimes instructive to remember a crystal structure is like a snapshot of a movie."
METAMIA is a free database of analogy and metaphor. Anyone can contribute or search. The subject matter can be anything. Science is popular, but poetry is encouraged. The goal is to integrate our fluid muses with the stark literalism of a relational database. Metamia is like a girdle for your muses, a cognitive girdle.