Data store

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Offline syhprum

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« on: 13/06/2007 08:21:25 »
If buy a fertile hens egg that contains all the data to create a chicken how many Megabytes of infomation do I get?
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Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #1 on: 13/06/2007 08:42:45 »
The chicken base pair has 1 billion base pairs in it. there are 4 bases so each pair can be one of 4 things so contains 4 bits of information. So in total 4 billion bits of information or 0.5GB

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Offline syhprum

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« Reply #2 on: 13/06/2007 09:56:46 »
I am amazed that my USB flash memory can contain enough information to create a chicken.
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Offline syhprum

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« Reply #3 on: 13/06/2007 21:03:04 »
Given a CD with the data and 92 bottles of assorted chemicals and lots of money would it be possible to produce a hen?.
If that is rather over ambitious how about a simple virus.
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Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #4 on: 14/06/2007 00:44:12 »
I think there is also a lot of tacit information in the mechanics of a cell - Most of the information to build a chicken is in the DNA but only if you already have a cell to put it in - a cell that has been primed in the right way to make it an embryo not a fat cell for example. DNA has the instructions and some of the machinery to build a chicken, but you still need all of the components in roughly the right ratios to actually build it.

I don't think there is the technology to build a cell from scratch today, but theoretically you probably could, but this would take a lot more information...

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Offline Soul Surfer

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« Reply #5 on: 14/06/2007 10:14:34 »
I agree you can think of the DNA as the plans but the rest of the egg consists of the tools and the material to execute the plans and this contains a lot more information.  My understanding of the information content of a cell is that 90% of the DNA information is the information on how to build a single cell.

I understand that there is the technology avaiable now to build a virus from basic DNA elements and some people have considered building engineered virses to perform useful tasks in controlled cell cultures but that thre is a lot of heart searching about the risks of doing something like this.
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