Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Encoded in Our DNA


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

I stole today's question. When it popped up on Twitter, I just knew it was the question for this week.

First, the background. From the New York Times article from July 12: "Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA":
[One of the very first motion pictures ever made] is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. 
Since I'm stealing the question, I'll let the tweet speak for itself:
(If you have access to Twitter, check out the whole thread. There are some interesting ideas there.)

18 comments:

  1. Disturbing. That's all I can say.

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    1. Check out the whole thread. It's way disturbing.

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  2. HAHA....if they are using my storage area for storing their info it might not be so bad for them....if they are storing my info or holding my info to use later....they might be in trouble! ENOUGH said! By the way, all my info that my little brain allows me to hold on to is stored in file cabinets in my memory. When I take in or learn new things, I have to go clean out room to store the new info....its an age thing!!! HAHA

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    1. I'm assuming you wouldn't even realize you were storing data. At least, that's the way the article made it sound.

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  3. It seems like a lot of trouble. There's got to be other easier sources of DNA to encode.

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  4. Doesn't sound like very secure storage if it can be retrieved at will and there's no knowing where the multiplying will end! If it was being used on a mass scale, things would quickly get out of control, I wager.

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  5. Fascinating, but makes me think a bit of the HeLa strain of cells from the late Henrietta Lacks, who died years ago from ovarian cancer. Doctors say there is something special about those cells....gee, what if? Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm not sure what you're saying here. But it seems like it's going in an interesting direction.

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    1. It would be weird, at least, to start.

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  7. Just plain weird to think about. I hope it isn't actually happening :)

    betty

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  8. I wonder if it'd be like The Matrix. Instead of using us as a power source, they'd keep their music collection embedded within our DNA. Maybe those really successful people are tools used by the popular aliens to share their data with other aliens!

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    1. She hit this exact though in the Twitter thread :)

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  9. What the point? It seems silly to encode a movie into DNA...I really don't understand. If the aliens use me, they are in for a big letdown

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    1. Who knows? Maybe data storage might become a problem in the future...

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  10. What a strange thing to do. Who would even think of it?

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    1. For one, the author whose tweet I appropriated...

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