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FQXi FORUM
February 23, 2018

CATEGORY: Technology [back]
TOPIC: Are We Merging With Our Technology? [refresh]
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William Orem wrote on Jun. 28, 2007 @ 20:15 GMT
Put this one in the Strange New World file: is it possible to use junk DNA as a repository for secret messages? The idea cropped up in science fiction some time ago, but as of now, it's also reality.

Japanese researchers at Keio University, led by Masaru Tomita, recently wrote the sequence "E=mc2 1905" into the genome of a bacterium. The idea is as simple as the execution is complex: your four choices are C, G, A, and T; regard these as base keys in a translation code; type away. As long as a suitable reading mechanism exists that knows the translation code, the bacterium has just been turned into a communication device. Or, more precisely, its natural code-bearing potential has been hijacked to carry a secondary level of "meaning."

All of us are repositories of huge numbers of terabytes worth of junk DNA anyway, just waiting to be turned to advantage. Or perhaps, as the article speculates, our junk DNA already has been turned to this purpose: perhaps the search for communication from alien species should be proceeding inward rather than outward. We might be partly their autographed handiwork, the way Bach wrote his name into his cantatas on occasion. Maybe the stuff that doesn't code for any proteins is carrying greetings, along with instructions on how to manipulate the physical world around us effectively, once we reach the point of being able to recognize and decode the message . . .

Question: science or fantasy? And, more generally: is this the beginning of the merging point between biology and technology? How long before the distinction between organism and machine becomes irrelevant . . . or is it already?

image: jurvetson


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this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Josh Cuppett wrote on Jan. 12, 2009 @ 21:11 GMT
If we throw DNA into a black hole, is the information lost?

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atomiton1 wrote on Jan. 25, 2009 @ 03:47 GMT
To Josh. YES

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atomiton1 wrote on Jan. 25, 2009 @ 04:02 GMT
The one achiement that is my lifes goal is to create androids we are able to program our minds to. To chat my email address is atomiton1@yahoo.com

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 24, 2009 @ 20:36 GMT
Junk DNA is an unfortunate choice of name, since it immediately devalues this portion of DNA because of its as yet un-ascertained purpose.

It is prejudice to assume that, just because we do not know what purpose it serves, it is of no value and can be tampered with and manipulated to serve short sighted aims of a few individuals.

Investigation of its purpose and any coding within it is however a useful scientific endeavour, as we may be wiser as a result.

Very often human technology which should benefit mankind has been found to have unforeseen detrimental effects.

The distinction between life and machine, biology and technology, must always be preserved because when life is devalued its very survival is threatened. This is of primary importance.

Unfortunately it is the distinction between science and fantasy that is becoming blurred.

Economics and technology (and a certain percentage of human beings) are devoid of morality.

Question? Shouldn't common sense, foresight and moral values hold tight to the reins of technological development?

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Georgina Parry replied on Mar. 15, 2011 @ 06:07 GMT
Telomeres

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Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 25, 2014 @ 22:36 GMT
Junk DNA not so Junky

Epigenetic's and non-coding RNA research

Where long noncoding RNAs meet DNA methylation

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Marshall Barnes wrote on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 01:15 GMT
I am working on a number of projects now that deal with merging technology with the human consciousness or mind (as opposed to brain). This is another aspect of the same issue and one that is happening now as opposed to sci fi speculation.

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re castel wrote on May. 25, 2010 @ 13:41 GMT
strange...

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re castel wrote on May. 25, 2010 @ 13:45 GMT
human beings are devoid of morality? strange indeed.

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re castel wrote on May. 25, 2010 @ 13:50 GMT
merge tech with human consciousness? how else do you merge tech with human consciousness? aren't you supposed to go through the brain?

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re castel wrote on May. 25, 2010 @ 13:52 GMT
are humans ever conscious without the mind in the body?

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re castel wrote on May. 25, 2010 @ 13:57 GMT
economics and technology influence the morality of human beings. and human beings always have morality - it's just that a sizable part of it is junk morality - must be because of junk DNA.

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 4, 2010 @ 06:40 GMT
Really strange but thanks to share it.

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Mr. Magoo wrote on Jan. 23, 2011 @ 01:03 GMT
Just because Japanese biologists can train cells on the side of a fish to produce a corporate logo does not certify the fish as CEO material.

The age spots on my wife's left wrist could probably become the model for encoded wonders from another world that no one recognizes because WHY SHOULD THEY...

unless they are simply looking for weird research projects to suck in federal grants?

Please give me some more of dat stuff!

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Alice lewis wrote on Mar. 25, 2014 @ 09:53 GMT
Well! All information here is new for me. I think Really strange. I think you have great collection regarding it. I would like to say Thanks for sharing it.

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Emmie Bruce wrote on Aug. 3, 2017 @ 14:39 GMT
There are many industries which are participating in technology but according to my research there are two major industries in technology the one is software development and technology industry. They are very active and giving so much participation in dynamic and frequently evolving. When we talk about giants in technology that they are big data, IoT and other. When you are creating, analyzing, and visualizing data in order to facilitate the operational procedures and management decisions. Regardless of the possibility that the procedures are as of now upgraded, the utilization of BI gives you an additional upper hand through extraordinary assignment writing effectiveness. Just speaking, BI is engaged to help administration for taking a plenty of choices. In the event that you are making them, at that point you are adapting more about your gathering of people and repeating towards something that is likelier to work. Additionally, you are changing over a few people, which implies that you would then be able to keep on building on that over the long haul.

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Emmie Bruce replied on Aug. 3, 2017 @ 14:44 GMT
This is best examples

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Martin Čermák wrote on Dec. 8, 2017 @ 12:10 GMT
The title is kinda misleading but it was very interesting read. Dont think it is true but I love this out of the box ideas. :) About merging with our technology... it really depends on the pace of nanotechnology advancement. Soon you can have nano materials in your body to help you heal or to serve as specialized drug carriers. (check this)

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Martin Čermák wrote on Dec. 8, 2017 @ 12:14 GMT
The title is kinda misleading but it was very interesting read. Dont think it is true but I love this out of the box ideas. :) About merging with our technology... it really depends on the pace of nanotechnology advancement. Soon you can have nano materials in your body to help you heal or to serve as specialized drug carriers. (check this)

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Dec. 9, 2017 @ 02:39 GMT
[ink:www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFTWM7HV2UI] We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads by Zeynep Tufekci TED Talk

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Georgina Woodward replied on Dec. 9, 2017 @ 03:08 GMT
We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads by Zeynep Tufekci TED Talk

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