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52 comments

Have we checked the existing ones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546222)

Maybe someone already left a message for us.

Re:Have we checked the existing ones? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547058)

Well.. I checked and it's just some multiplication problem. Hmmm I wonder what the answer is?

Re:Have we checked the existing ones? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547080)

Mine says don't forget your towel.

Re:Have we checked the existing ones? (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547082)

I found the answer, but none of the ones I checked had the question.

Fuck, the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546232)

Fuck, base, the enemy intercepted our communication. I SNEEZED, I REPEAT, I SNEEZED.

This is base, IDIOT, this is why your parents teach you to always hold your hand in front of your mouth.

Wonderful progress! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546304)

Next they can get to work teaching them to predict the future by zapping them with laser beams.

Re:Wonderful progress! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546982)

Next they can get to work teaching them to predict the future by zapping them with laser beams.

This could lead to viral marketing, too.

I'll get me coat.

Message Received? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546392)

DON'T CHANGE YOUR SORKS!

Haha, what the hell is a "sork", stupid bacteria

A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (3, Insightful)

arielCo (995647) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546442)

Yeah baby, watermarking seeds. Mmmm ...

And what's the insight offered by a random scientist on this?

"It's a really cool idea," says Kenneth Suslick, a chemist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Re:A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (4, Insightful)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546490)

"Your honor, we present this genetic analysis of the defendant's grain crop. If I may direct the court's attention to this particular DNA sequence? This is an intron -- a non-functional section of DNA -- specifically inserted by Monsanto. Using the following encoding system, the base sequence of the intron codes for the string "Patent 12,343,253 Monsanto Corp. 2015". As the defendant has not bought seed from Monsanto for five years, he would not have been able to harvest our patented strain of grain unless he had retained grain from previous harvests to replant, which is a direct violation of the contract he signed when he last purchased Monsanto seed grain."

Re:A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (2)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546898)

Also your liver and stomach would be subject to DMCS violations since they are consuming/breaking "media" and I have yet to see a liver paying royalties. They can encode the latest single of justing beaver in your rice! and You'll be fined by the tablespoon.

On related news, an outbreak of fainting have been reported in Disney Corp, MAFIAA and ABA headquarters.

Re:A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548536)

And will Monsanto have to pay for littering when their garbage ends up in previously pristine farmland and stocks of seed? I doubt it.

Re:A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546654)

It worries me that we have had smart people working on ways to brand things like this... But yet we are no nearer to cures for AIDS or MS...

Re:A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546756)

It worries me that we have had smart people working on ways to brand things like this... But yet we are no nearer to cures for AIDS or MS...

Three stories further down on the front page. [slashdot.org]

but they have the cure for NAS (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547038)

but they have the cure for NAS

Re:A wet dream for the likes of Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37560774)

HAHAHAHA... Kenneth Suslick a random scientist??? HAHAHAHA.... you should watermark your brain....

Can see the headline now (5, Funny)

nirgle (554262) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546486)

Two million pounds of meat recalled due to high levels of profanity... more at 11pm.

Old news (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546512)

Encoding language into DNA has been used in several art projects, for instance this one [ed.ac.uk] by mad professor of literature Christian Bök (work still in progress, I believe). DARPA imitates art?

Living commodities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546580)

Something about these two words being used together sends shivers down my spine.

Quick! Someone call for the Sleeper Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546588)

It looks like Gravious gave his knife missile the slip.

It was the Crow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547326)

... that did it. Encoding messages into DNA it then deposited in faeces left on the clothing of guests of Sleeper Service, if I recall correctly? And didn't the Good Times Gang know all along?

Sounds like a DIY Bio project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546594)

That is not a complement. I'm surprised this made it into PNAS.

It just shows what some marketing & spin can do to ho-hum scientific research. Jacks to Jazz!

Alert Ender!... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546596)

WE began the Descolada!

Medical Marijuana (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37546618)

Cough ... Cough ... what's that you say? No my seeds aren't patented I just took a huge toke.

Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37546852)

This is a bad idea, because in genetics, you only have the 4 letter A, C, G, and T. What kind of message could you make with those? There aren't even any vowels!

Re:Bad idea (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547106)

This is a bad idea, because in genetics, you only have the 4 letter A, C, G, and T. What kind of message could you make with those? There aren't even any vowels!

Umm.... A is a vowel.

Re:Bad idea (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547966)

This is a bad idea, because in genetics, you only have the 4 letter A, C, G, and T. What kind of message could you make with those?

Using binary for message encoding is a bad idea. I mean, you have only 0 and 1: what kind of message could you make of these?

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37553750)

This is a bad idea, because in genetics, you only have the 4 letter A, C, G, and T. What kind of message could you make with those?

Using binary for message encoding is a bad idea. I mean, you have only 0 and 1: what kind of message could you make of these?

Let's not even get in quantum mechanics.

The Andromeda Strain (1969) (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547132)

"Chalmers, a man with a keen sense of humor, had used the example of a man looking down on a microscope slide and seeing the bacteria formed into the words 'Take us to your leader.' Everyone thought Chalmers's idea highly amusing."

Not tonight honey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547168)

"No headache, I just feel terrible. I think I got the flu."

"No my dear; that is just the latest way to say I love you, yuk, yuk, yuk..."

Somehow I wonder how great of an idea this is ;)

Genes transmit in the wild (3, Informative)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547292)

I don't really see the current research as being applicable to the lucrative crop seed production market very soon. But I'm sure Monsanto and others are watching this research with interest.

One huge problem I see with this gene matermarking idea in commercial crop production is that genes are moving across nature anyways. This fall after spraying some of my Liberty-Link canola with round-up so I could combine it straight (kind of like running just "make install" instead of "make; make install" ;). After 10 days there were still a few very green spots in the field. I have a strong hunch that those spots had round-up resistant genes then them, probably growing up from volunteer seeds in the soil. Now I've never ever grown round-up ready canola there before. Some was grown a half mile away or so. People have been discovering round-up tolerant canola growing in all kinds of weird places. Due to whatever cause we know for sure that roundup-ready genes are moving without human intervention. Also more and more weeds are round-up tolerant but that might just be because of over-use of round-up.

In any case, watermarking seed isn't viable in the long term. What Monsanto is probably more interested in, is making single-generation crops. If the farmer can't hold back seed, then they've got a guaranteed market. In north america, single-generation wheat has been pretty much shot down by the farming community. But abroad, it's a lot harder to say no to that kind of thing.

Re:Genes transmit in the wild (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548410)

Most insects which munch on vegetation can move from plant to plant as well as regurgitate cellular material and carry it on their mandibles. I wouldn't be surprised that genetic material can be transferred from plant to plant, especially if mosquitoes, fleas and ticks can transfer bacterial/viral material from mammal to mammal.

Re:Genes transmit in the wild (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548836)

In north america, single-generation wheat has been pretty much shot down by the farming community. But abroad, it's a lot harder to say no to that kind of thing.

A large part of north american resistance was thanks to the Canadian Wheat Board, which has been blocking Monsanto at every turn. The Conservative government has recently put forward plans to kill the board, against the wishes of a majority of wheat farmers, and against what they had promised before gaining a majority in the election. So the expansion of Monsanto can now continue unchecked.

I wonder where this will lead.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547364)

Descolada anyone?

The Future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547536)

Didn't I see this in a Star Trek TNG episode...?

Re:The Future... (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547778)

Pretty sure I saw this in Blade Runner, where the street vendor reads the serial number embedded in a snake scale.

Re:The Future... (1)

PoopCat (2218334) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560274)

Sure, but that was a replicant snake, not a "natural" one.

Re:The Future... (1)

JoeRobe (207552) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549952)

Yep, I thought the same thing when I saw the article.

"The Drumhead" from season 4. A Klingon encodes 1701-D engine specs in protein sequences for the Romulans.

Just tried to read the message (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547564)

I just tried to read the encoded message, and all I got was "My hovercraft is full of eels"?

Ad Space (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547814)

Now Geico will have one more place to stick their ads.

bladerunner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547996)

remember the snake scales

Old hat, new paranoia. (4, Informative)

estitabarnak (654060) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548134)

These techniques are old hat. We've been modifying bacteria to serve as biomarkers for a long time now. They're used in quick and easy assays for chemical contaminants, for instance. Basic idea is just that you have your "certain condition" from the article be one with, say, arsenic. The bacteria create a fluorescent or coloured compound as a result and you have a positive hit for contamination.

So before we get too deep in to evil corporations tracking their products, keep in mind that the tech has been around for a long time and if it was a valuable thing to do, they probably already would. But it seems like there's relatively little point in, say, Monsanto tracking crops by inserting a gene when we have much simpler options like PCR available.

Orks Orks Orks Orks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548690)

Them brainy gitz just need ta get workin' on puttin' thinky bits inter fungus, not germs!

Prior art.. (1)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549954)

Iain M Banks had a spy character in his book "Excession" encode messages on bacteria as a secret communication channel. However, the messages were successfully intercepted.

Good book. I enjoy his Culture novels.

DNA as a medium for one-way cryptographic messages (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37553568)

Bob sends Alice a cryptographic message encoded in DNA. Alice is unable to decrypt the message using standard techniques.

However certain techniques of combining the message with a similarly formatted DNA compliment of her own can often enable Alice to successfully identify Bob.

Re:DNA as a medium for one-way cryptographic messa (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556152)

Yeah, but you just have to watch one episode of CSI to realize how tough key management is when you leave a copy of your private key on everything you touch...

Genetic Drift (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554694)

So, you put your message into the DNA. Hope you retrieve it within a few generations. Plants and animals change. DNA gets exchanged and mutated.

These changes could be considered bit errors, making "DNA encryption" and "DNA encoding' kinda futile. And good on ya if your message and someone else's get mixed up in the field.

Oh, and here's another thought... What if those "dead DNA areas" where you stored your message are simply DNA that required some exotic condition to express? You message might be lost if the plants all die off. Or worse, your message might be "RUN IN TERROR, Citizens of Earth! Our flesh-eating KUDZU will kill you all!"

Living Commodity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554850)

Coin a phrase like that and then the genetic engineers are going to wonder why every thinks they are evil. Why even throw that neologism in there? The article was cool up to that point. Stupid. Show some respect for life. No, I do not accept your jaded world view. Ask yourselves why you speak like that. Go stand in the corner and think about what you just did.

Do they think they are being cute and conditioning the world to a deeper underlying agenda? There is no destiny. You have free will. Every day you make choices. Your choice was to use the phrase 'Living Commodity'.

Monsanto, why do you choose to be evil?

Proper Documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557454)

The first thing humans will learn to program in genetic code will be comments. :P

smbc link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570956)

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2122#comic ten million hours of cartoon porn.

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