An estimate of the total DNA in the biosphere
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Modern whole-organism genome analysis, in combination with biomass estimates, allows us to estimate a lower bound on the total information content in the biosphere: 5.3 × 1031 (±3.6 × 1031) megabases (Mb) of DNA. Given conservative estimates regarding DNA transcription rates, this information content suggests biosphere processing speeds exceeding yottaNOPS values (1024 Nucleotide Operations Per Second). Although prokaryotes evolved at least 3 billion years before plants and animals, we find that the information content of prokaryotes is similar to plants and animals at the present day. This informationbased approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.
Landenmark , H K E , Forgan , D H & Cockell , C S 2015 , ' An estimate of the total DNA in the biosphere ' PLoS Biology , vol 13 , no. 6 , pp. 1-10 . DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002168
© 2015 Landenmark et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited