This reminds me of the biological concept of functional redundancy. For example, different microbes in the same functional guild can perform the same function, i.e. produce a given metabolite like butyrate.

Some research groups like George Church's lab at Harvard have looked into DNA for information storage because of the built-in redundancy. In fact, your DNA is so tightly wound around histones that if you were to unravel it completely, from end to end, it would stretch to the moon and back 1500 times!

I sometimes joke that women are the superior sex since they have a backup X chromosome; it's just good sense! Usually one copy is inactivated and forms a Barr body to prevent double the number of proteins, but since every cell doesn't inactivate the same copy, you can sometimes observe mosaicism, which is responsible for the multicolored coats of calico cats.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store