Via Marginal Revolution comes a report of a company that is apparently making diamond rings using (and don’t ask me how this works) Beethoven’s DNA, extracted from remnants of the great composer’s hair. I’m curious: How good is the sample that can be extracted at this point? Because, at the risk of giving Leon Kass hives, I think it would be incredibly cool to be able to clone a few Beethovens. In lots of cases, it’s impossible to say to what extent genius springs from innate, genetic capacities as opposed to upbringing. But in the case of musical prodigies like Beethoven and Mozart, their incredible talents were so evident so young that, even though both were certainly encouraged (in Beethoven’s case perhaps to the point of abuse) to develop their abilities, it’s hard not to conclude that their gifts were waiting in their wiring, ready to emerge so long as environment provided the opportunity. Next step, base pair–mining history’s greats for genetic mash-ups.
Roll Out the Beethovens
February 16th, 2007 · 2 Comments