We were very intrigued to read about J. Craig Venter’s creation of an
artificial organism, an amazing technical feat that certainly deserves
a tremendous amount of praise. An interesting point mentioned briefly
at the end of the article is that Dr. Venter inscribed his name, a
little bit of poetry, and a few additional messages in this organism.
These inscriptions raise the possibility that small bacterial
organisms may become the information storage devices of the future.
Indeed, DNA is an ideal medium for storing information -- essentially,
this particular molecule has been selected by evolution for this very
purpose given that it is so stable and can be replicated with
error-correcting machinery. We can well imagine a future filled with
long-term storage of information taking the form of specially created
microorganisms synthesized with messages embedded within them.
Dov Greenbaum, JD MPhil PhD
Mark Gerstein, PhD
Unpublished letter in response to:
Robert Lee Hotz's "Scientists Create Synthetic Organism" WSJ, (5/21/2010)