What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Squeezing So Much Data Into Virtually Every Cell In The Body? Why Did Humans Not Evolve With One Central Repository Of DNA Rather Than Having It Replicated Throughout The Body?


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David C answered
The way that humans work is that they are multicellular organisms.  Each cell works together to create the entire organism.  Cells reproduce on a very small scale and need to have DNA to copy in order to reproduce.  It isn't feasible to imagine a single repository of DNA for all of the trillions (yup, trillions) of cells in the body to use.  

The fact that there are only 4 different nucleotides on DNA isn't restricting to what it can encompass in the information on it.  The computer that you are using to type this question only uses a binary system of markers.  Ones and zeros, and it can display almost anything that you want it to.  

I looked into it because I was just bored.. But DNA has approx. 3 billion (3 x 109) base pairs.  So that would be eqivalent to.. Well I don't exactly know how to convert from base 2 to base 4... But I'd imagine that would be somewhere along the lines of at least 2 gigabytes of data.  So if you can imagine the amount of data a computer might store in 2 gigabytes of space you'd understand the range that DNA might be able to represent.  (approx. 20 yards of books on a shelf.. 1,000 mp3s.. You know)

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