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From xuucp Fri Sep  9 09:44 EDT 1988

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Date: Fri, 9 Sep 88 08:43 EDT

From: "(Roy R. Beatty) Keane, Inc. [BEATTYR] 302-774-0335 B-10217" 
Subject: CRYONICS - On Downloading
To: ho4cad!kqb%
Status: R

       On downloading:

       A (very long) paper tape can provide a complete representation of 
a mind just as a (very long) string of DNA can describe a body.  Those
bundles of DNA called chromosomes don't look anything like me, yet they
define my default appearance.  Surely we can build a brain by design.
Remember that it took Nature hardly any thought at all.  

       Granted, it might take a light-year of tape to describe an Einstein's 
brain, but there are very few of those brains around.  It might take only 
a hundred miles of tape to describe, say, the brains of the entire Kennedy 
family.  So downloading for the stupid may be within reach.  Let them count 
on it for now.

       Tangent: It would be interesting to compare the amount of information 
(in bytes) held in 46 chromosomes to the amount of information held in a brain.

       I have some comments on your previous mailing.  I'll respond next week.

       In amber,

[ Roy, perhaps I did not explain enough of the context of Ettinger's article
  in message #16.  (My apologies.)  The issue concerning downloaders was not
  whether or not a person's mind can be represented on a long paper tape, but
  whether one could ascribe consciousness / feeling to that representation of
  a person.  You do, however, bring up the question of "How much information?".
  I have appended below a copy of an old USENET sci.bio message concerning the
  amount of information in our DNA.  (I hope the author does not mind.  I am
  assuming that any sci.bio message is in the public domain and is OK to
  redistribute anywhere.)  Does anyone have any other estimates of the amount
  of information in our DNA or of the amount of information in our minds?
  - Kevin Q. Brown ]

From  Sat Mar 28 02:25:16 1987

From:  (Craig Werner)
Newsgroups: sci.bio
Subject: Re: question
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Mar 87 06:25:16 GMT
References: <>
Organization: Albert Einstein Coll. of Med., NY
Lines: 28

In article <>, 
(Randy Burns) writes:
> I was wondering roughly how many 'bytes' of information are contained
> within human chromosomes?

	The human genome contain 3 * 10^9 base pairs, which is 1000
times as much as that of Escherichia coli, and about 300 times the
total of all published sequences to date (*).
	Much of that is repeated DNA, either satellite DNA, interspersed
repeats, or moderately repeated gene families (like ribosomal RNA).

	Hence, if a byte is a base pair, that's your answer, although
only two bits are required to specify a base, ergo a 'byte' could 
actually be a tetranucleotide, but most sequences are stored as
letters (ATCG). 
	Similarly, if information is the key phrase here, only about
10-20% of the genome encodes information, so that brings the total
storage requirements down from 3000 Mbp to 300-600Mbp, maybe even

(*) Latest release of Genbank contains 10,913 sequences from 13,774
publications, totalling 10,961,365 base pairs.

			      Craig Werner (MD/PhD '91)
              (1935-14E Eastchester Rd., Bronx NY 10461, 212-931-2517)
                   "Viruses do to cells what Groucho did to Freedonia."

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