I just read the most amazing, astounding story. According to USA Today (January 24, 2013: 2B), a team of  British scientists have recorded Shakespeare’s sonnets and parts of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on DNA.

That’s right: DNA. It sounds like something out of the old series Star Trek: Voyager, in which the starship had computers with organic components. But this is not the 24th century. And the researchers, who came up with the idea over a pint in a pub, are serious. The average person may be able to have affordable DNA storage devices by the middle of the next decade.

The DNA is machine-synthesized. It doesn’t come from any living creature. Videos and other media stored in the chemical could last tens of thousands of years. So be careful what you post on Facebook. Your descendants in the 42nd century could still be embarrassed. They might even try to come back in time and prevent you from “sharing.”

Seriously, whenever I read articles about such incredible work, I am humbled by the intellect of people way smarter than I could ever hope to be, and I praise God for giving humankind such gifted folk. And I also hope that we will do a better job with science education, so that today’s kids can discover even more astounding ways to be stewards of creation. To paraphrase Stanford University engineer Drew Endy, fundamental investment in basic scientific tools can lead to amazing things.

© 2013 Tom Cheatham 

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