Researchers at the J Craig Venter Institute recently unveiled their first self-replicating synthetic bacteria (M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0
) whose DNA was ‘programmed’ base pair by base pair. To verify that they had synthesized a new organism and not assembled the DNA from another natural bacteria, scientists encoded a series of ‘watermarks’ into the genes of M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0
. There are four of these hidden messages: an explanation of the coding system used, a URL address for those who crack the code to go visit, a list of 46 authors and contributors, and a series of famous quotes. [...]
- CRAIGVENTER coded as:
- VENTERINSTITVTE coded as:
- HAMSMITH coded as:
- CINDIANDCLYDE coded as:
- GLASSANDCLYDE coded as:
[...] To make things even clearer, JCVI also released the quotes used in the fourth watermark. Here they are:
- “TO LIVE, TO ERR, TO FALL, TO TRIUMPH, TO RECREATE LIFE OUT OF LIFE.” – from James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
- “SEE THINGS NOT AS THEY ARE, BUT AS THEY MIGHT BE.”- a quote from the book, American Prometheus which discusses J. Robert Oppenheimer and the first atomic bomb.
- “WHAT I CANNOT BUILD, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND.” – attributed to Richard Feynman (physicist, philosopher, badass) as the last words on his blackboard at the time of his death as described in The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking (physicist, philosopher, badass)