Messages in DNA: You Saw it Here First

In August of 2003, I posted an article that suggested the SETI folks ought to look at our own DNA to see if there happens to be a hidden message from aliens in there waiting to be discovered. Putting a message in human DNA, particularly in the junk DNA regions, is guaranteed (a) not to degrade significantly over long periods of time and (b) to be found by humans when we reached a suitable level of technological development, and (d) to go with each of us wherever we went on earth and beyond. So, thinking like an alien, DNA would be a much better place to leave a message for future humans than just about anywhere else. Now, the well-known science writer, Paul Davies has come up with the exact same suggestion.

By the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if we look and actually find just such a message. Most likely it will read, “Property of Microsoft Corporation, patent-pending” or something to that effect.

5 thoughts on “Messages in DNA: You Saw it Here First”

  1. That’s very interesting seeing how a co-writer friend, Mark Howard, and I had a very similar theme in a script we wrote for the BBC way back in the mid-80s.

  2. The idea also appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called, “The Chase”, in which an old professor of Picards had found encoded messages in junk DNA of humans and many other species throughout the Orion Arm. When they finally added all of the messaged together
    they made a 3D map of the galaxy, which too them to a planet where the final messaged layed waiting for them for 4 billion years.

  3. … and in the Nanoflower by Richard F. Hamilton.
    And, if the idea of DNA is transposed to the makeup of subatomic particles, by Greg Egan in Diaspora.

Comments are closed.