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<Link> Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing
I would say yes DNA molecules are definitely really useful for computing, but it would probably be best if we don't use them in situ in living organisms whose welfare we care about.

Junk DNA - even if it's never expressed and never affects the expression of anything - is usually valuable in some degree. Much of It is what it is, and where it is, because at some point in the evolutionary past some version of it served our ancestors well. We got a switch here, a switch there, this sequence activated, that sequence deactivated, and now it's "junk." But next week or a century from now, we get a switch there, a switch here, this sequence deactivated, that sequence activated, and the trait - or some related trait, or some part of that trait, or some combination of it with current traits - shows up in the current environment. Junk DNA is DNA recombining across time rather than just across gametes. If you go rewriting it, using it to compute, etc, you are disrupting the process of recombination across time, and suddenly tiny little mutations that might otherwise have reactivated something potentially useful or combined it with something we now have making a new useful thing, become lethal.

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RE: Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing - by Bear - 12-21-2020, 06:43 AM

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