This is Deinococcus radiodurans. These bacteria may be the toughest organisms in the world, surviving dehydration, cold, acid, and vacuum, and withstanding more radiation than probably any other living thing.

Some scientists have considered using them as a way of storing data to survive an apocalypse. In 2003, researchers encoded the song It's A Small World into DNA, engineered it into D. radiodurans, and managed to retrieve it without errors 100 generations later.

@starwall Right? I kinda love that they were discovered when someone was using gamma radiation to sterilise food but these things survived a dose which was thought to kill off literally anything!

@InvaderXan daaaamn. Where did these little guys evolve? Was it at the georeactor in Oklo, Gabon?

@starwall It's possible! No one knows where they came from originally. They were discovered in Oregon, I think?

@starwall Gabon though... I think there was a different kind of bacteria there which concentrated the uranium? I'm not sure, but I vaguely remember reading that somewhere. May have been a James Lovelock book...

@InvaderXan I wonder how they scramble it so as to avoid malware.

@InvaderXan Wow, that song really does keep going on forever

@InvaderXan OMG, music encoded in DNA. Now I'm thinking of a plot point in "Year Zero."

@KelsonV Gotta be honest, I would choose a different song to survive an apocalypse

@InvaderXan I bet Disney is getting litigious over all those [I'm assuming] unlicensed copies.


@InvaderXan whoa!! what?! you have just blown my fuckin mind with this shit

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.