Of Bards and Bacteria

We came across this strange little article in Wired Magazine, and thought we would pass it along purely for responses' sake.

If the longevity of the written word has been bothering you lately, follow Canadian poet Christian Bök's lead. Evidently, Bök is determined to encode a "poem" into the DNA of a hardy bacteria that will exist for billions of years. We're no microbiologists, but apparently the way he will do this is by creating a cipher that "links letters of the alphabet with genetic nucleotides (adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, aka ACGT). Each triplet of nucleotides will correspond to a letter so that, say, ACT represents the letter a, AGT represents the letter b, and so on...After using hand-coded software to determine which ciphers will give him the maximum two-way potential, Bök will finally start composing. He says his poem will probably need to have a 'repetitive, incantatory quality.'"

Hmm... this raises so many questions I don't know where to start...

Image: Nishant Choksi
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  1. response: that's dumb-da-dumb-dumb

    Won't be long before garage-biologists are doing things like this all too often..

  2. I echo BTreotch although I am impressed with the ingenuity. Still, it is dumb.


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