Human Writing to Be Preserved in Cockroaches

A brilliant idea: encode works of art into the DNA of cockroaches (one of the toughest species on the planet). A project from virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier and friends:

All living things contain DNA, including some strands, called introns, which have no known function. Lanier and his colleagues Dr. David Sulzer, a Columbia University assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry, and Lisa Haney, a conceptual illustrator, propose putting these introns to good use. They would translate the contents of every issue of the magazine this year from two-digit computer code (0-1) into four-digit DNA language (A-G-C-T) and then splice that information into the introns of . . . a cockroach.

They don’t stop there. They have worked out a careful program of interbreeding that would ensure the genetic transmission of this information. Thus, after 14 years, every cockroach in New York would be an archival cockroach.

Maybe we should be looking at cockroaches and beetles to see if there’s ALREADY anything encoded in their DNA.

New York Times: The Times Capsule

(via Boing Boing).

1 Comment

  1. Doesn’t seem like a particularly brilliant idea to me.

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