Encoding Evolution?

Since yesterday I have been feeling a bit unwell. Today I decided to take rest at home. During my contemplative moment in the bathroom, some question crossed my mind. How come 23 pairs of chromosomes could pass so much genetic complexity.

And if to take it a little bit further, is it possible that mutation in genes could make so much difference between the parents and the off-springs and set the whole chain of evolution in motion?

Now, I don’t have sufficient knowledge on Biology to make any comment regarding this matter. In fact, Biology has always been my least favorite subject. But nowadays I started to develop some interest in Biology at particular topics, for example: how to make sure the next generation of human being could have sufficient intelligence to keep our civilization progressive [1], and why it is said that our the genes could encode particular magical stuffs such as (mating-partner choice, trauma, and so on)

However, since I am studying Electrical Engineering, I think it’s possible to generate so much data by using only a set of input. Using combinatorial logic circuit alone, the result is already amazing. Let’s say we have 5 inputs. We can generate the output by using combination of 3 of them, 2 of them or 4 of them, or two of them combined by another two of them and so on. Moreover, we can use sequential circuit too, and furthermore do some filtering and adaptation to generate random things, or modelling the thing just like AR, MA, or ARMA, etc. And about the mutation, we can look at it as if fault occurs in some of the circuit, then we can learn it by using Fault Dictionary Table and map the evolution tree.

Having finished my things, I started to open wikipedia, looking for some basic knowledge on DNA stuffs [2]. Unfortunately, reading those names of protein revives my trauma of Biology. But I found some interesting fact:

In a paper published in Nature in January, 2013, scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute and Agilent Technologies proposed a mechanism to use DNA’s ability to code information as a means of digital data storage. The group was able to encode 739 kilobytes of data into DNA code, synthesize the actual DNA, then sequence the DNA and decode the information back to its original form, with a reported 100% accuracy. The encoded information consisted of text files and audio files. A prior experiment was published in August 2012. It was conducted by researchers at Harvard University, where the text of a 54,000-word book was encoded in DNA.”

Now, I have a lot of things in mind after encountering this ah-ha moment, yet I don’t want to make this one a long post. In conclusion, again, I felt so amazed how a complexity could be generated by a simple rule, a simple ideology to set an endless development: evolution.

Some references that I’d like to put here:

[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/201002/identical-genetically-different-and-why-you-can-thank-your-mother-yo

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA

7 thoughts on “Encoding Evolution?

    1. I guess, for lack of a better word, genetic engineering means it is “purely” engineered right? Meanwhile as (not) far as I know, some phenomenon of evolution takes place without human intervention.. then why would you prefer the former?

      1. I see that the point of your text is on the fact that DNA can be “engineered” in a sense where digital data can be stored. As far as I know (in only four and a half years, though), any practice that includes human modified DNA is called “genetic engineering”. Meanwhile, imo, “evolution” is a process that goes beyond that. It is actually a large phenomenon that contains genetic modification as one of the factors and it does not exclude human intervention as well. The scope of the term evolution is far larger to be put specifically for simple genetic engineering.

      2. I don’t have any objection to your explanation, I’m totally agree with it. But, actually, the point of my writing is: by using some knowledge that I’m familiar with, I can say that evolution phenomena make sense. But I guess I can’t articulate it quite well 😦

      3. It takes several mistakes to finally understand something. Besides, I myself don’t understand evolution quite well. After all, evolution is a phenomenon in the making–it takes beyond our own lifetime to see the product of what we “engineered”. In fact, more often than not, the products of evolution originated spontaneously. We don’t know how it ends up there (and maybe we’ll never know). But it’s an interesting field of science, right? 😉

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