Eadweard Muybridge was a pioneer of both early cinema and scientific observation. His iconic clip of a galloping horse was famously used to settle a bet over whether the animal lifted all four hooves from the ground when in motion.
More than 130 years after this breakthrough, Muybridge is at the centre of another as scientists have successfully encoded this iconic film into the DNA of living cells. The result is a so-called organic GIF, and is the first step in what researchers are referring to as a “molecular recorder”, able to exist, observe and capture information within living cells.
 “We want to turn cells into historians,” explained neuroscientist Seth Shipman, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School. “We envision a biological memory system that’s much smaller and more versatile than today’s technologies, which will track many events non-intrusively over time.”
Using the gene editing technology CRISPR, scientists funded by the National Institutes …
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