How many oragamis can be coded using DNA?

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gbagcn2
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How many oragamis can be coded using DNA?

Postby gbagcn2 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:16 am UTC

I am not even sure what a good method of finding a good upper bound for this would be? You could base it on the number of certain atoms in the universe but thats kind of obvious. If there were some sort of way to generate all of these possible organisms what would they look like and how big would they get? How well would they do competing with the organisms on earth? How many of them would be smarter than humans?
Last edited by gbagcn2 on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:33 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby nash1429 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:40 am UTC

A) Why is this not in the science section?

B) If anyone can answer this question, they know enough about enough biological fields to win every Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine until the year they die.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Belial » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:06 am UTC

When you say "organisms" do you mean "organisms that could survive long enough to breed", "organisms that could survive long enough to get born", or just "any misshapen pile of protoplasm that comes from throwing random genetic code at each other in random permutations"?

If the latter, considering that number-of-chromosomes is variable, the answer is basically infinite.
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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Josephine » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Yeah, I'm not sure on the upper limit for stable chromosome size (not to mention the fact that multiple are possible), but the number of possible combinations is really, really large. howevermanybillionsofbases^4 large.
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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby eternauta3k » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:41 am UTC

Countably many.
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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:22 pm UTC

Belial wrote:When you say "organisms" do you mean "organisms that could survive long enough to breed", "organisms that could survive long enough to get born", or just "any misshapen pile of protoplasm that comes from throwing random genetic code at each other in random permutations"?


I don't think the third option counts as an organism, since an organism is by definition alive, and things that are alive need to at least do the food-to-energy thing and a few other things...

*wikis 'life'*

Wikipedia wrote:Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby gbagcn2 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:45 pm UTC

I forgot to mention that I was reading a book called The Physics of Immortality by Tipler where the author claimed to have calculated this. I was a little skeptical of the answer he gave though since I have heard some criticism of that book.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby swibbub » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:06 pm UTC

With 'organisms', do you mean different species or many copies of the same species? In the former case one would have to define what makes a species a species (which is actually rather difficult).

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Essah » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

I first read orgasms...does that label me something?

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby ++$_ » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

nbonaparte wrote:the number of possible combinations is really, really large. howevermanybillionsofbases^4 large.
Try a heck of a lot larger: [imath]4^{\mbox{howevermanybillionsofbases}}[/imath]

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby lu6cifer » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:23 am UTC

Essah wrote:I first read orgasms...does that label me something?


nah, that's what I read it as.
Unless that also labels me as something <.<
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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Zarq » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:25 am UTC

lu6cifer wrote:
Essah wrote:I first read orgasms...does that label me something?


nah, that's what I read it as.
Unless that also labels me as something <.<


On the first look, I still read it like that.
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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Midnight » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:05 am UTC

gbagcn2 wrote:I am not even sure what a good method of finding a good upper bound for this would be? You could base it on the number of certain atoms in the universe but thats kind of obvious. If there were some sort of way to generate all of these possible organisms what would they look like and how big would they get? How well would they do competing with the organisms on earth? How many of them would be smarter than humans?


well, each human has slightly different dna. does that count as a different organism, by your definition? In fact, are we talking organisms--or species? cause you're saying organisms, but you're describing species-like behavior.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby nash1429 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:42 pm UTC

Essah wrote:I first read orgasms...does that label me something?


I only know a few people who don't do this.

gbagcn2 wrote:I forgot to mention that I was reading a book called The Physics of Immortality by Tipler where the author claimed to have calculated this. I was a little skeptical of the answer he gave though since I have heard some criticism of that book.


What is the context? Why would he try to do that? Any consideration of this question outside the realm of analyzing Tipler's statement is essentially pointless unless anyone on this forum is omnipotent.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Belial » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

H.E.L.e.N. wrote:I don't think the third option counts as an organism, since an organism is by definition alive, and things that are alive need to at least do the food-to-energy thing and a few other things...


Fair. Which leads the question to be unanswerable for another reason: we don't know enough about the genome to say whether any given random combination of base pairs would be able to do any food-energy conversions before it died of being too ridiculous and poorly put-together.
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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby nash1429 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:31 am UTC

Belial wrote:
H.E.L.e.N. wrote:I don't think the third option counts as an organism, since an organism is by definition alive, and things that are alive need to at least do the food-to-energy thing and a few other things...


Fair. Which leads the question to be unanswerable for another reason: we don't know enough about the genome to say whether any given random combination of base pairs would be able to do any food-energy conversions before it died of being too ridiculous and poorly put-together.


We must also consider epigenetic factors.

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby oracle989 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:55 am UTC

How about the number of humans possible before we start getting repeats in the genes?
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Gears » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

I already repeated in your mom's genes.
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Essah » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:43 pm UTC

lol topic Change according to my reading disability,... I'm Honered

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm UTC

gbagcn2 wrote:I forgot to mention that I was reading a book called The Physics of Immortality by Tipler where the author claimed to have calculated this. I was a little skeptical of the answer he gave though since I have heard some criticism of that book.
Tipler has done some good work in the past, but now he's pretty much off in crackpot land. I'd be a little skeptical of *anything* he says these days.
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby tastelikecoke » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:49 pm UTC

If we can recode the human genome to lengthen the time of orgasms, I can say that science had really advanced.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Spambot5546 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:13 pm UTC

I feel extremely deceived by this topic. Someone here owes me an orgasm. :-/
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Adacore » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:17 pm UTC

...I avoided reading this at work because of the revised topic. :evil:

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Essah » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:20 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:...I avoided reading this at work because of the revised topic. :evil:


i read the title everytime i open the forum and become amused every time XD
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby markop2003 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:02 pm UTC

The best info i can find would makes me guesstimate an upper limit of 4^23400000000 which is apparently 14088203798 decimal digits long... though at what point you classify something as a different species and how much of that is actually coding for something is a different matter. I think it may be best just to call it a few and leave it at that.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby LeagueOfMorons » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:16 am UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:Someone here owes me an orgasm. :-/


This is now my new favorite thing to yell while walking into a room.
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:53 pm UTC

LeagueOfMorons wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:Someone here owes me an orgasm. :-/


This is now my new favorite thing to yell while walking into a room.


This combined with your avatar nearly made me spit on my monitor at work.
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Midnight » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:23 am UTC

is it weird that i misread the title as organisms?
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:24 am UTC

Belial wrote:
LeagueOfMorons wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:Someone here owes me an orgasm. :-/


This is now my new favorite thing to yell while walking into a room.


This combined with your avatar nearly made me spit on my monitor at work.

I scrolled back up, and almost spewed apple juice everywhere, but I had the presence of mind to swallow before doing anything with my hands.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:45 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:but I had the presence of mind to swallow before doing anything with my hands.


That's what sh...
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Felstaff » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:49 pm UTC

LeagueOfMorons wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:Someone here owes me an orgasm. :-/

This is now my new favorite thing to yell while walking into a room.

And you questioned why I barred you from my kids' parties.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby big boss » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:48 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:is it weird that i misread the title as organisms?


It is weird that you are not as jaded or perverted as the rest of us who did read it as orgasms considering that you are a member of these forums
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby ImagingGeek » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

Typos and orgasms aside, I think the correct answer would be a "near-infinite" number of organisms. Consider genome size alone - smallest known is Carsonella ruddi, 160,000bp long; largest known belongs to the amoeba Amoeba dubia, 670 billion base pairs in size. There is a lot of room to play in that size range, and there is no guarantee that Amoeba dubia's gnome is the upper limit.

Add to that the fact that once you have the minimal number of genes required to support life, you have a near-infinite ability to add additional genes, alter those genes, etc. Add in sexual reproduction, and you can shuffle the positions of those genes, making different species that are the same on a gene-by-gene basis, but unable to reproduce with each other.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Josephine » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:30 am UTC

ImagingGeek wrote: There is a lot of room to play in that size range, and there is no guarantee that Amoeba dubia's gnome is the upper limit.

gnomes. They can reach such great size.
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:55 pm UTC

ImagingGeek wrote:Typos and orgasms aside, I think the correct answer would be a "near-infinite" number of organisms. Consider genome size alone - smallest known is Carsonella ruddi, 160,000bp long; largest known belongs to the amoeba Amoeba dubia, 670 billion base pairs in size. There is a lot of room to play in that size range, and there is no guarantee that Amoeba dubia's gnome is the upper limit.

Wikipedia says the smallest is the Bacteriophage MS2, with about 3,500. Which actually just strengthens your argument.
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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby ImagingGeek » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:27 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:
ImagingGeek wrote:Typos and orgasms aside, I think the correct answer would be a "near-infinite" number of organisms. Consider genome size alone - smallest known is Carsonella ruddi, 160,000bp long; largest known belongs to the amoeba Amoeba dubia, 670 billion base pairs in size. There is a lot of room to play in that size range, and there is no guarantee that Amoeba dubia's gnome is the upper limit.

Wikipedia says the smallest is the Bacteriophage MS2, with about 3,500. Which actually just strengthens your argument.


Except that a bacteriophage is a virus, and thus may or maynot qualify as alive. And its far from the smallest virus out there - the hepatitus d virus, for example, is 1700bp. Carsonella ruddi is a bacterium, and thus has the smallest genome of things which are unquestionably alive. If we're willing to include stuff in the gray area between "true" life and dirt, we should include viroids and virusoids, who have genomes 220 to 340bp in size.

Just goes to show, the potential genome range for living organisms is incredibly huge.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Midnight » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

big boss wrote:
Midnight wrote:is it weird that i misread the title as organisms?


It is weird that you are not as jaded or perverted as the rest of us who did read it as orgasms considering that you are a member of these forums

interesting pigeonholing. Everyone who reads xkcd is a jaded pervert?
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby ImagingGeek » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:42 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:
big boss wrote:
Midnight wrote:is it weird that i misread the title as organisms?


It is weird that you are not as jaded or perverted as the rest of us who did read it as orgasms considering that you are a member of these forums

interesting pigeonholing. Everyone who reads xkcd is a jaded pervert?


I reading it as we are either jaded or a pervert; not necessarily both. I'm married, so I'm 100% the former and no longer allowed to be the latter...

...with the exception of every other Saturday :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: How many organisms can be coded using DNA?

Postby Essah » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:38 pm UTC

noo, Orgams! not organisms... :|

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Re: How many orgasms can be coded using DNA?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

ImagingGeek wrote:I think the correct answer would be a "near-infinite" number of organisms. Consider genome size alone - smallest known is Carsonella ruddi, 160,000bp long; largest known belongs to the amoeba Amoeba dubia, 670 billion base pairs in size. There is a lot of room to play in that size range
Not really, because the number of possible genomes at *all* smaller sizes is smaller than the number at just one larger size. As in, if you count all the possible genomes less than 670 billion bp long, their total will be about 1/3 the number of possible genomes 670 billion bp long.

and there is no guarantee that Amoeba dubia's gnome is the upper limit.
This is the only thing that would make the possible number noticeably bigger. And there are costs associated with larger genomes, so it won't increase without limit. Hell, I suspect that 670 billion is already well beyond what would be efficient for a large multicellular organism.
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