Classic arts encoded into DNA

 
Edward Muybridge used 12 cameras to make his seminal film.
 
While the rest of us were busy looking for Pokemon, scientists have managed to store the famed 1887 galloping-horse films of Edward Muybridge into a single, living cell's DNA. Were the cell to divide, the film would multiply, ad infinitum. 
 
Not only that, a scientists have already put all of Shakespeare's sonnets into DN. So if you feel Shakespeare is really a part of you, you may be right. 
 
Think of the implications for digital artists. Perhaps artworks can also be stored. You could program them to come up with original work, or make hybrids. Software developers would jump into the mix. Our entire genome and culture could be embedded onto these biological hard drives.
 
All this is leading to talk of DNA hard drives that solve the pressing problem of running out of digital storage space. Server farms take up a lot of land and energy. As it turns out, Mother Nature does it a lot better than computers do, storing a million times more material in DNA than the amount of space it would take on a hard drive.
 
Further, this new biotech could be used to "film" the story of a creature's cells, making a recording of what's going on. Say you get sick; scientists could look at your cells and find out what happened and when. No more guesswork, and it's a lot more useful than most blood tests.
 
To get the film onto the cells, the researchers assinged each pixel in the film, which is of course black and white, a DNA code based on its shade of gray. There are just four molecules in DNA, arranged in many different ways, like the letters of an alphabet. The geneticists edit the genes and put the sequence into E. coli (yuck!)
 
This technology is progressing quickly, with talk of sending bacteria to the brain to find out what's going on there. The brain is the ultimate challenge, as its mysteries are yet to be divulged. These bacterial investigators could encode your reactions and give clues to memory and emotion. I wonder if they could even help figure out creativity. They do still keep the brains of extraordinary individuals to study--will they be sending some bacteria their way?
 
It's comforting that scientists have chosen books and cultural films to store, so far.
 
It will be interesting to see this natural intelligence rise along with artificial intelligence. After all, I've always wanted to be my own hard drive.
 
 

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