The Ultimate Coding Language Could Be (Literally) Within Us: DNA and CRISPR
Hypothesis: DNA is just another form of coding that uses biological strings of code, and having been refined from countless years of evolution, would be far more capable than any programming language before it. If true, the possibilities and implications are truly staggering, as things like CRISPR have shown.
There’s honestly a limitless amount of writing that could go behind this. From the implications of intelligence/AI to the possibility of editing our genome precisely like we write computer code, virtually anything we can do on a computer could be done on a person if we created a programming language that used DNA. We already are on the cusp of this with CRISPR, a gene editing technique that allows for things like removing genes that cause hereditary disease for good. This makes me think it is a small step away to write a computer code using DNA, and DNA would be well suited to the task. Rather than using 1 or 0, DNA uses letters in particular sequences (think how a computer currently processes anything; it looks something like 10110010101010). If we cracked the exact code of DNA, we’d essentially have access to our operating system in every sense of the word. Even if we didn’t, if CRISPR can already cut and paste genes, what about just copying and pasting the entire genome? At minimum, you could translate what those DNA sequences mean to normal computer code, but it’s a more interesting possibility (and easier) if you simply reversed course and used DNA for computer code.
With this, it would be much more easy to, essentially, “unite” any technology using such code with ourselves. In fact, we’d be very close to being able to actually “create” someone in theory, especially given the fact we know the entire human genome thanks to the Human Genome Project. What’s to stop someone from running the human genome on a computer of sorts? Typically, the problem is computing power, but what if instead of trying to upscale existing technology, we used our own computing power; the brain? If both systems operated on the same code (i.e. computer and brain), we could tap the incredible efficiency of biology for free, while simultaneously being able to tap into computer power.
This is where it gets a bit spooky.
You could hook yourself up to a bunch of computers and calculate almost anything, or download information into your DNA that makes you think that knowledge is instinctive, just as we’ve inherited thousands of years of experience from our ancestors encoded in our DNA (i.e. stay away from snake-like objects!). You could encase another “you” in a computer, that runs your DNA just like computer code. It would be true AI. Imagine pulling out your smart phone and instead of telling Siri or whoever something, you could literally talk to yourself. You could ask “yourself” to run an analysis on yourself, identifying any potential diseases or faults with your genetic code. Of course, if it’s that easy transferring data back and forth between you and a computer at that point, what’s to stop new Siri from helping you make those alterations to your genetics? Could you make yourself bigger, faster, stronger? Change your eye color to express blue instead of brown? The possibilities, as I’ve said, are truly staggering.
Given what I know about CRISPR, genetics, computing, and all of this, which, while it’s probably more than average, I’m certainly no expert. I could just be spit balling as a mad scientist here hopped up on Dayquil. However, given the possibilities of CRISPR alone, even without the programming language, this seems pretty close to what its capable of. The DNA language only exponentially increases the possibilities. I mean, when you can edit biology itself, what’s to stop anyone from pasting your genome into some other entity or object? The vessel for your genome becomes the only main obstacle. If that’s the case, couldn’t you literally change someone else’s genome to match yours, and essentially turn them into you on the physiological level? If not in adulthood, certainly at the embryonic stage. I suppose that is what is cloning is though, and we already have tried our hand at that with some success. We’ve cloned sheep, it’s just a matter of time before the technology catches up and we’re able to do something this far-fetched.
In any case, consider it at least. Is it possible to create a programming language out of DNA? It certainly seems possible to me. If so, what could you do with it?