The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ainan's love of abstruse chemicals

Ainan, 7, loves Chemistry. For him, its abstractions, concepts and arcana are all playthings. He enjoys them in a way that other children enjoy Playstation or football.

Today, I wandered into the computer room and caught him searching for something on the internet. I was somewhat bemused when I noted the length of the character string that he was using in his search. It was 1,913 characters long. It is comprised 267 amino acids. This is a huge molecule. It is in fact the protein, Tryptophan Synthetase (to give it an abbreviated name). The full name that he was searching with is, as follows:

methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutaminylleucyllysylglutamylarginyl lysylglutamylglycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolylphenylalanylvalylthreonylleucylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisol eucylglutamylglutaminylserylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamylalanylglycylalanylaspartyl alanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucylprolylphenylalanylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylprolyl threonylisoleucylglutaminylasparaginylalanylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylalanylalanylalanylglycylvalylthreonyl prolylalanylglutaminylcysteinylphenylalanylglutamylmethionylleucylalanylleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysyl histidylprolylthreonylisoleucylprolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginylleucylvalylphenyl alanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartylglutamylphenylalanyltyrosylalanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamyllysylvalyl glycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleucylvalylalanylaspartylvalylprolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphenylalanyl arginylglutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvalylalanylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinyl prolylprolylaspartylalanylaspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalanylseryltyrosylglycyl arginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycylvalylthreonylglycylalanylglutamylasparaginyl arginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleucylasparaginylhistidylleucylvalylalanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparaginyl alanylalanylprolylprolylleucylglutaminylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylserylalanylprolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysyl alanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanylglycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleucylvalyllysylisol eucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginylisoleucylglutamylprolylglutamyllysylmethionylleucylalanylalanylleucyl lysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutaminylprolylmethionyllysyl alanylalanylthreonylarginylserine

Do you know what really amazed me? He actually found references to this chemical on the internet! This protein is actually the longest chemical ever named in a scientific journal - so it is a molecule of some distinction. Trust Ainan to be interested in it.

(If you would like to know more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 7, a scientific child prodigy, seven years and eight months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, aged four years and one month, or Tiarnan, eighteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:00 PM 


Blogger virginiagunawan said...

The name definitely gives my tongue an exercise. Ainan is so amazing!

After reading your posts about Ainan (I've read every post that has Ainan in it, I guess..), I thought that if a prodigy is a children who is less than 11 years old and has an adult ability in a particular area, then Ainan looks like he's more than prodigy.

Or do the adults who excel in Chemistry think like Ainan? From what I see (from my excellent Chemistry teachers), Ainan has more passion, more curiosity, more experimental, more everything! I've had a lot of chemistry teachers, from the bad ones to the great ones, but not even one of them who share the characteristics of Ainan. So my point is that Ainan has more than an adult ability. Ainan has the quality of a pro chemist. That's only my very amateur opinion anyway.

His knowledge might less than those of the professionals but his way of thinking and memory capacity definitely won't lose to them~

Maybe the world should create a new word to describe the very special Ainan! :)

6:49 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, I agree that no adult I have ever met exceeds Ainan in the manner of his thought and his ability to retain and recall information. He is very fortunate in these regards.

Chemistry teachers and Chemists of my acquaintance, don't proceed in the way that Ainan does. There learning has been acquired with much longer effort, and hours over many more years. Ainan's is quick, intuitive, very rapidly acquired. His grasp seems also more fluid and flexible than theirs, able to conceive anew and play around with the possibilities much more readily.

Re. more than prodigy.

Well, Ainan's precocity is above the norm and baseline requirements for a prodigy, so in that respect, yes, he is more precocious than most prodigies.

Thanks for your kind words regarding him.

7:52 PM  

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