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Biology 321 W2012 The Molecular Biology of Mutation Part 1 This article details some of the common sequence variations that have been found when comparing individual human genome sequences including single nucleotide polymorphisms SNPs gene copy number variations CNVs and other structural rearrangements Breakthrough of the Year Human Genetic Variation Science 318 1842 Dec 21 2007 http fire biol wwu edu trent trent humanvariation pdf 1 2 Digital technology has spawned an surfeit of information that is extremely fragile compared to paper and therefore inherently impermanent Moreover nondigital materials often remain intelligible following modest deterioration whereas digital sources such as CDs frequently become unusable at the first sign of corruption http chnm gmu edu digitalhistory preserving 1 php 3 Data currently being stored in magnetic or optical media will probably become unrecoverable within a century or less estimates vary This will be due to the combined effects of 1 software obsolescence 2 obsolescence of hardware for retrieval 3 decay of the storage medium aka material deterioration New approaches are required that will permit retrieval of information stored for centuries or even millennia 4 This human generated digital technology contrasts with the impressive information storage technology that evolution has produced and refined over the past 3 billion years Our personal digital archive is NOT plagued by problems of chemical fragility or by obsolescent retrieval systems 5 DNA has three properties that recommend it as a vehicle for long term information storage First DNA has stood the informational test of time during the billions of years since life emerged Non replicating DNA molecules are quite robust good chemical stability Second because DNA is our genetic material methods for both storage and reading of DNA encoded information is central to technological civilizations and undergo continual improvements DNA R US Third use of DNA as a storage medium

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