August 10th, 2004 by Andrew
I read this very interesting article today about what an alien species would do if they wanted to leave a message for us on our planet to find when we’re ready. The answer this article came up with: encoding something in our DNA. Just like the binary of a computer consists of 1’s and 0’s, and our alphabet has 26 letters, the DNA alphabet consists of 4 separate chemicals, usually referred to by G, A, C and T. Why couldn’t this be a good place to store a message. The actual active genes in our DNA make up very little of the entire DNA strand, while the rest is just junk DNA. As the article says, similar DNA between mice and humans can be traced back millions of years. What if this similar junk DNA is really a message sent long ago by an alien species? A lot of evolution happens due to the DNA of viruses being intermingled with existing DNA. What if millions of years ago, someone sent viruses to our planet, and everyone now holds that same DNA inside our bodies. Very deep to think about. The article can be found here, and I highly suggest you read it.
In other space news, the Japanese have successfully launched the world’s first solar sail. This is an awesome technology for space travel, as it requires no fuel, rather only light particles from the sun to push it along. It can continually accelerate, meaning travel at speeds we’ve never even thought of. I’d like to see how they plan to slow something like this down though. Maybe reverse-facing rockets or thrusters mounted on the front of the actual pod or something. Kind cool. The article is here, but there’s not much information.