Edward Muybridge made history in 1878 his photographic studies in motion. He assembled a series of still shots then transferred the images to a disk. The disk was spun animating the stills to produce motion. One of his early animations was the mare, Annie G, trotting and galloping. It is one of the sequences that settled a centuries old debate among equestrians – is there a point when all four feet of a horse are off the ground?
140 years later Annie G has again made ground breaking news in a way that Muybridge could never have imagined.
Harvard researchers led by neuroscientist Seth Shipman, Ph.D., conducted a study that suggests that information storage in the future may rely less on machinery than within ourselves.
Researchers sequentially encoded Muybridge’s five frames of Annie G running into a strand of DNA. That DNA was then fed to e.coli bacteria which digested the information. The e. coli was left for several days to multiply. Researchers were then able to extract DNA from the new e. coli bacteria, decode and replay the Muybridge images in correct sequential order.