Storing Your DNA In Outer Space

Storing Your DNA In Outer Space

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted February 21, 2008 in DNA Fun

bionic man spaceAre you worried about your precious DNA being lost in space and time once you die? If so, BeInSpace will help you send it into space for safekeeping.

BeInSpace will be collecting 1TB of digital data and DNA, putting it on a rocket and launching it out into orbit, to our solar system, far, far way.

From their FAQ:

Who knows where you will be 2 billion years from now?

No one!

Dude. I can tell everybody on this planet today where they will be 2 billion years from now. NOWHERE! We’re all going to be dead, dead, dead, and DEAD.

BeInSpace reminds me of the Alliance to Rescue Civilzation (ARC). They want to create a back-up on the moon of all recordable aspects of human civilization, including DNA samples.

ARC’s mission:

The mission of the Alliance to Rescue Civilization (ARC) is to protect the human species and its civilization from destruction that could result from a global catastrophic event, including nuclear war, acts of terrorism, plague and asteroid collisions. To fulfill its mission, ARC is dedicated to creating continuously staffed facilities on the Moon and other locations away from Earth. These facilities will preserve backups of scientific and cultural achievements, and of the species important to our civilization. In the event of a global catastrophe, the ARC facilities will be prepared to reintroduce lost technology, art, history, crops, livestock and, if necessary, even human beings to the Earth.

Unlike BeInSpace, however, ARC is not publicly soliciting submissions. Whatever and whoever they decide to include will hopefully NOT be a representative sample of what we have on earth today but an improved version. On the other hand, what would I do for entertainment without Britney Spears to ogle?

Photo credit: Wellcome Images under Creative Commons.



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Comment by ramunas

Well, it reminds me a story by K.Vonnegut, Jr: “The Big Space F….”:
beg a pardon…

Comment by NA Subscribed to comments via email

So we are going to put the same molecules that make up DNA in outer space when we can already find these molecules in outer space. How do we know the DNA won’t degrade with all of the radiation from the Sun?

NA, Studies are being done to assess the effects of long term exposure to space. See Kevin Kelly’s post.

(Comments wont nest below this level)

Oh, and it would sure be easier to start with an intact DNA molecule rather than counting on artificial synthesis.

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Comment by Jean-Baptiste

That’s hilarious. I had an astro professor in college that was convinced we were going to colonize space, not by flying up in shuttles and building things ourselves but by sending out our DNA with key ingredients so that life would make itself. I don’t think anyone actually believed him – including myself – “really, who would care that much about their DNA to send it out in space? Does that really fulfill the human desire to build, multiply and conquer?”

But wow – looks like some people are thinking along those lines.

Jean-Baptiste, Just give it a couple of billion years and maybe life will synthesize itself out there somewhere. That is unless you believe that aliens exist and I have to say that some days, I think they’ve already arrived on earth!

Comment by Lisa

“Dude. I can tell everybody on this planet today where they will be 2 billion years from now. NOWHERE! We’re all going to be dead, dead, dead, and DEAD.” Laughing out LOUD.

Death is no laughing matter, Lisa.


Comment by NA Subscribed to comments via email

Check this out. I was right!

DNA Shaped Nebula Observed At Center Of Milky Way


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