Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Speed of light space travel

for microbial organisms
  (+7, -6)
(+7, -6)
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We can already digitise the DNA of a species, the human genome project is an example. If only we could develope a DNA printer to reproduce this digitised DNA we could send life to other planets via radio/light waves. Humans would probably be out of the question as we are too complex but smaller microbial organisms may have a better chance. Microbial organisms also evolve faster allowing them a better chance of colonisation. Just as our ancestors crawled from the sea onto the land, it is our duty to assure that some sort of life escapes this inevitably doomed planet.

Go team life.

greyfiend, Jul 18 2006

Hawking's question on answers.yahoo.com http://answers.yaho...060704195516AAnrdOD
[theircompetitor, Jul 19 2006]

Plans to transmit and reconstruct Martian DNA http://articles.lat...na-on-mars-20121018
[theircompetitor, Oct 20 2012]


       so how do you get the DNA printer to the other planets?
xaviergisz, Jul 18 2006

       well, you'd have to send it there by standard non-lightspeed means, but you could potentially send thousands of unmanned DNA printers, they would each find a nice planet/moon/asteroid etc and report back the conditions to earth where we would recreate those conditions in a lab and try to engineer/breed a microbe(or entire mini-eco-system) that may survive, then send the microbe DNA back at the speed of light. If it doesn't take, try again.
greyfiend, Jul 18 2006

       But... It's only the information that's going anywhere... Thoroughly half baked! Bun!
Dub, Jul 19 2006

       I'm no expert, but I think there's more to life than just DNA, e.g. proteins (perhaps with the exception of viruses).   

       If you're going to the effort of sending DNA printers into the depths of space, you may as well just send a sample of every known hardy organism and see which one adapts to the environment.
xaviergisz, Jul 19 2006

       This reminds me of the sci-fi novel 'A for Andromeda' (the aliens beamed out a signal transmitting the specifications for a computer, and when an intelligent civilisation (Earth - okay, intelligentish) picked up the signal, we made the computer which then assembled the DNA which then grew into an alien who tried to take over our minds).
imaginality, Jul 19 2006

       greyfriend, there's still time to try and answer Stephen Hawking's question on Yahoo Answers, go for it.
theircompetitor, Jul 19 2006

       [xaviergisz] sure you COULD put a sample of every known hardy organism into space but it's got two major problems: 1. It's got nothing to do with light speed space travel and so the title of the idea wouldn't be as interesting. 2. Doesn't allow for humans to genetically engineer or breed new life forms that may be better suited to the environment. Which in turn means that any intelligent life form that evolved would look elsewhere for someone to call god.   

       [theircompetitor] I'll give it a go, could you provide a link?
greyfiend, Jul 19 2006

       what [xavier] said. or just stick a little computer in the machine with the genomes, so you don't have to send them. You'd also need to send a cell membrane and some other bits of stuff to make bacteria or anything else. Do you want to propose a protein printer?
sninctown, Jul 19 2006

       [sninctown] is a protein printer what's necessary? What are the most basic building blocks that this, lets call it a Life printer, would need to be able to recreate some form of life? what are the lowest common denominators?   

       [theircompetitor] I posted an answer to Hawkings question, wanna hear it?
greyfiend, Jul 19 2006

       An interociter.
Ian Tindale, Jul 19 2006

       I believe the answer would be ALGAES. With them you could start a whole new eco-system.   

       And the thing is that you wouldn't need to print anything we'd just have to launch rockets full with algaes.
dr Theory, Jul 19 2006

       Nice try [greyfiend], but firing a laser containing DNA information at a distant planet won't create life any more than firing a laser containing an audio stream of Sgt. Pepper will create music.
wagster, Jul 19 2006

       Yes, he convientently skips the step of getting the massive receiving and DNA synthesis equipment to the other planet to begin with. The digitized data he plans on beaming up could have been taken along for free, as it weighs next to nothing, certainly far less than the receiving equipment.
ldischler, Jul 19 2006

       [wagster],[ldischler], did you even read my first anno? I thought receiving equipment was a blatently obvious component of the design, how else do you convert a radio/light signal into anything constructive? Sorry to get your hopes up but travelling at the speed of light most probably involves converting the traveller too light waves which then will involve converting them back again, that's basically the idea... I would have gone into more depth initially but in my experience half bakers don't generally like long overly complicated ideas.
greyfiend, Jul 19 2006

       Colony ships with embrystock have been postulated extensively. But I do think you have an interesting twist
theircompetitor, Jul 19 2006

       Have re-read your anno. It's an interesting idea: basically trying to develop life suited to the planet rather than alter the planet to suit life. The body of the idea as posted merely proposes sending much of the info to earth and back whilst going through the process. Not only is this incidental to the good bit of the idea, it's actually a drawback. Changed to neutral.
wagster, Jul 19 2006

       Maybe use it to send RNA, instead. That is, they propose that the beginnings of life happened in the 'RNA world'.
daseva, Jul 19 2006

       You could send the DNA coding for the proteins in hamburger. Then if someone could decipher it, they would be able to grill a hamburger! Maybe some onion dna should go with.
bungston, Jul 19 2006

       //report back the conditions to earth where we would recreate those conditions in a lab and try to engineer/breed a microbe(or entire mini-eco-system) that may survive//

Planets are gigantic experiments that run for billions of years. If life were possible on a planet, it would already exist, and it would already be tailored for the conditions there.
ldischler, Jul 19 2006

       [ldischler] I'm not sure I share your optimism, what if the universe is full of missed oportunities? From our experiences of life on this planet it has obviously alot of drive to survive and expand, surely as part of this thing called life we could put a bit of effort into helping it with it's goal, the possibility exists that it may never be able to navigate the vacuum of space without human intervention.
greyfiend, Jul 20 2006

       I read a sci fi novel where this was taken to the extreme. Scan an object to the molecular or atomic level (possibly destroying it in the process), beam the information via gamma ray lasers to a distant planet and have nanoassemlbers create a copy. Essentially this simulates Star Trek transporters. To save bandwidth you can use software to compress redundant data.   

       If you do this to a human, the original will die. Data compression would be set to a lower level for the parts of the body that are important like the brain. For less important parts of the body, you could save bandwidth by using generic pre programmed templates where possible, just add DNA.
vmaldia, Feb 27 2007

       This is a gloriously silly idea, but presumably Mr. Fiend is no longer around?   

       [Vmaldia] //If you do this to a human, the original will die// This bit has always worried me, and has dissuaded me from being teleported anywhere. As far as I can see, all of these teleporting schemes leave me sitting right where I was twiddling my thumbs - the only difference is that someone just like me has popped up somewhere else. Sounds like a combination of the British public transport system and the Raelians.   

       Of course, if the scanning process actually vaporised me, then great. I die, and my last thoughts are that somebody just like me is popping up somewhere else. I can hardly wait.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 27 2007

       What you need to do it be able to build your apparatus remotely from earth using lightspeed fast tools. Obviously one would carve it from the substrate using LASER beams. The information could also then be transmitted by LASER beams. It might be tricky using a laser fired from a moving planet to carve something on another moving planet some light years away, but that is what SCIENCE is for sorting out.
bungston, Oct 20 2012

       Hasn't the infinite patterns of light already printed us and is, at this moment, still printing across the universe.
wjt, Oct 20 2012


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