March 10, 2007

germy data drives Artificial DNA with encoded information can be added to the genome of common bacteria, thus preserving the data. You guys remember those old spy films where they fished a dot of microfilm off the femme fatal's beauty mark. I imagine that with this new technology the retrevial of data will be a bit more, shall we say, personal.

"Miss Money Penny, please retrieve a sample from Mr. Bond. We need the DNA info from his e-coli, stat!"

  • I agree, the steganography possibilities are intriguing. According to researchers, up to 100 bits of data can be attached to each organism. Only twelve characters, encoded in ASCII. That's enough for (c) 2015 IBM, but not (c) 2015 MICROSOFT. If we return to the 6-bit character codes of yore we can get all of 16 characters, so Microsoft and Disney need not yet lose all hope. Or some sort of E. coli standard compression to cram the information-theoretical maximum into those stray codons. Still, 100 bits isn't much. Even a DCE UUID is 128 bits. Got a ways to go before designer bugs can be fully self-documenting.