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Title An Estimate of the Total DNA in the Biosphere
Why should I read this?

The total information content in the biosphere is estimated at 5.3 × 1031 megabases (Mb) of DNA. This information content suggests biosphere processing speeds exceeding yottaNOPS values (1024 Nucleotide Operations Per Second). In this way, the biosphere can be visualised as a large, parallel supercomputer, with the information storage represented by the total amount of DNA and the processing power symbolised by transcription rates. In analogy with the Internet, all organisms on Earth are individual containers of information connected through interactions and biogeochemical cycles in a large, global, bottom-up networkThis information-based approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.



Hanna K. E. Landenmark , Duncan H. Forgan, Charles S. Cockell

Published Date and JournalJune 11, 2015, PLOS
Further Links

Fig 1. Storing the total amount of information encoded in DNA in the biosphere, 5.3 × 1031 megabases (Mb), would require approximately 1021 supercomputers with the average storage capacity of the world’s four most powerful supercomputers. © 2015 Hanna K. E. Landenmark, Duncan H. Forgan, Charles S. Cockell

What do you think?

1 Comment

  1. According to the GeneBank statistics we are at 1.232.858.253.167 (One Trillion) sequenced Base Pairs, which makes 1.212 basepairs.. still a long way to go. It also shows us, how many varieties the oldest programming language has come up with. 

About the author

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.