I think that stonerwilliam, BlueJacket and Bone75 are getting the 2 different applications for the terms "computer memory" and "human memories" mixed
up (and it's onequestion's fault, pardon any offense for trying to say something that is true, I didn't know how else to put that).
Computer memory (or data stored on a computer medium in binary form) is not quite the same as human memories (even though both are aspects of data
storage and retrieval systems). And human memories aren't stored in the DNA or retrieved from the DNA (also remember that "instinct" is not the same
The information ("a megabyte's worth of text, images and speech") that was encoded in the DNA (most likely by engineering your own sequence based on a
prior agreed upon interpretation and translation of the 4 bases in DNA back and forth to the data you are storing, I didn't read the article even if
they did share those details) replaces the information in the sequence that was there (if DNA was borrowed from a living organism rather than starting
with a new sequence which seems more likely to me in this particular experiment, but I'm responding now to the way some of you were talking about it).
It can probably no longer be used in a living organism because the sequence is meaningless regarding the functionality in the cell (you might be able
to tuck it away somewhere where it won't be broken down by the cell's own error-checking and maintenance systems, the sequence would be foreign to the
genome of that organism if added to it, like a virus), it's just a different data storage medium. You then come up with a medium to store that DNA
sequence and use a machine to read the DNA sequence at the receiving end, and then translate it back into the data that you stored according to the
translation you used from data* to DNA sequence.
* = the data they used might be in binary code, 0's and 1's (as in computer code) rather than a quaternary code, A's, C's, T's and G's (as in DNA).
It's not hard to translate if you set your own rules or translating language and make a program for that translation from binary code to quaternary
code and back again (you can probably do it in Excel)
So then you put our technological abilities together:
1. our ability to produce or engineer a DNA sequence using deoxyribonucleotides (extracted and isolated from living organisms, i.e. 'borrowed') and
genetic engineering techniques (probably more expensive than making a DVD)
2. our ability to read DNA sequences (getting a bit cheaper lately, but I'm guessing still far off the production costs of a DVD)
3. our ability to preserve and transport isolated DNA sequences (not in a living organism; again more expensive than sending a DVD on the mail or data
over an already established network)
4. our ability to program and translate one code or programming language into another and back again
edit on 8-4-2016 by whereislogic because: