Miscellany

Y3K bug

Virtual-reality innovator Jaron Lanier, Columbia U. Prof. David Sulzer, and conceptual illustrator Lisa Haney submited an entry to a New York Times Magazine contest for designing a time capsule to reach earth s inhabitants in the year 3000. Their entry was to have notes, the contents of every 1999 issue of The New York Times Magazine converted from the two digit binary to the four-character genetic code, and spliced into the introns of cockroaches. Then, through a rigorous breeding program, the cockroaches of New York City would be transformed into scurrying little time capsules, copulating madly, and certainly giving earth s inhabitants of the future at least one product of biotechnology that is guaranteed to survive.

Nature Biotechnology Vol 18, Jan. 2000