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DNA Storage Capacity?

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The information carrying capacity of any self-reproducing system is inversely propotional to the rate of copy error. It means over time the information gets lost due to high error rates so to compensate that it uses a startegy called genetic redundancy.

 

 

According to Shanon's theorem, selective advantage (k) of genetic redundancy in information transmission is given by:

 

K = L - (1 - qL)n/qL

 

where 1- q = the error rate per nucleotide; n = the number of copies of gene or chormosomes in a genome; L = length of information in terms of the number of nucleotides bases.

 

Genetic redundancy measures the number of extra redundant bits of information that has to be added in order to ensure that information is efficiently transmitted with out any loss. So a high error rate will increase the selective advantage for genetic redundancy which increases the genomic size. It gives a theoretical maximum possible increment to the genomic size and energy constraints and other factors determine the practical possible increment in genomic size, as you can see this strategy is inadequate in preventing information loss. So a large genome doesn't mean increase in information.

 

The redundant gene duplications can undergo functional divergence due to the force of natural selection and it is this which adds new information and the redundant gene after under going functional divergence no longer provides a buffering from the mutations to its other gene copy.

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