Sonnets stored in DNA
Researchers reported Wednesday that they had stored all 154 Shakespeare sonnets, a photo, a scientific paper, and a 26-second sound clip from Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech in a barely visible bit of DNA in a test tube. The genetic material has long held all the information needed to make plants and animals, and now some scientists are saying it could help handle the growing storage needs of today’s information society. The process, described in a report published online by the journal Nature, involved converting the ones and zeroes of digital information into the four-letter alphabet of DNA code. That code was used to create strands of synthetic DNA. Then machines “read” the DNA molecules and recovered the encoded information.
Nomination to proceed
The White House said Wednesday it will go ahead with Gen. John Allen’s nomination to become commander of NATO forces in Europe, following his exoneration in a Pentagon investigation of questionable email exchanges with a Florida woman linked to the sex scandal that led David Petraeus to resign as CIA director. If confirmed by the Senate, Allen would succeed Navy Adm. James Stavridis in the NATO post. Allen is due to leave his position as commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan on Feb. 10. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had put Allen’s nomination on hold last November when he directed the Pentagon’s inspector general to determine whether Allen’s email exchanges with Jill Kelley of Tampa, Fla., amounted to wrongdoing.
Navy plans random tests
The Navy said Wednesday it will conduct random blood-alcohol tests on its sailors in the United States starting next month, a sign of how concerned the service’s leaders have become about the effects alcohol abuse is having on the force. The tests are part of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative, an expansive program intended to improve the well-being of sailors and Marines after more than a decade at war.
Compiled from wire reports.