Dude recreates Tree of Knowledge with Wikipedia encrypted in Apple-DNA

Joe Davis, „The Mad Scientist of MIT“, will einen neuen Baum der Erkenntnis aus dem Garten Eden züchten, in dem er die Wikipedia in Gensequenzen verschlüsselt und in die DNA eines Apfelbaums einfügt. Das geht, kann man machen, es gab auch bereits Poetry-Remix-Projekte und Copyright-Klagen wegen solchen Dingern. Ich erwarte dann aber auch, dass da eine nackte Eva und ein nackter Adam dann unter dem Wikibaum rumtanzen und sich Edit Wars liefern, während eine Schlange mantraartig Relevanz-Kriterien rezitiert. Oder sowas.

The first step, translating English words into the letters of DNA, is easy, as long as one maintains a code. By analogy, Morse code does a similar thing with only two symbols, a dot and a dash. “Malus ecclesia” can, for example, be compressed using common English letter pairings and written in DNA as agtgtagcccaatcgcagaccctcaa.

Once they’re coded, [Davis] can assemble the letters into biologically viable, functional strands of DNA. In 2012, using the same process, he encoded and “printed” an entire book that he wrote on the topic, “Regenesis,” into free-floating strands of DNA. Though state-of-the-art at the time, inserting the DNA into an organism is a different matter entirely. To get the DNA into the apple, Davis will use a type of bacteria uniquely evolved to insert its genome through plant cell walls. Yoav Mayshar, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and the central geneticist on the project, told me that they can trick the bacteria into putting the DNA-encoded Wikipedia into apple saplings, which are then grafted onto apple stock and allowed to grow into adult trees. Because the changes to the fruit are biologically inert, the final apples will look like normal apples hanging from normal apple trees.


[update] Joe Davis hatte auf dem 30C3 einen Vortrag zu dem Projekt gehalten. (Danke Peter!)

Vorher auf Nerdcore:
Poem-Dialogue about Loss and Life encrypted in DNA
Copyright-Infringement via Gentech