Forward to next post: Dysfunctional Families: Everybody lined up for the parade?
Here’s a neat thing. A team at Harvard Medical School has used DNA to encode the text of a book. They’re playing around with the very high storage density that the medium provides.
The researchers claim that the cost of DNA coding is dropping so quickly that within five to 10 years it could be cheaper to store information using this method than in conventional digital devices.
They used a draft of a book they’d written themselves, and didn’t involve living organisms. While both of these are logical for a first attempt at something, questioning those choices opens up intriguing worlds of possibilities.
What if we could make DNA storage “compile”, as it were, and live inside our bodies? What book or books would you carry around encoded in your very cells? My well-stocked Kindle would suddenly seem bulky and inconvenient, if my library could be encoded in my fingernails. (Assuming I could find a reader that would work with that format, of course.)
Or would we start with a shorter text? How about the name of a beloved, set as a seal upon our nuclei? Smaller and more pervasive than a sailor’s MOM tattoo, less visible than the phoenix on my upper arm, more permanent than exchanged rings?
Continued from Open thread 176.
Continued in Open Thread 178.