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Destination Games
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 11/02/07)  | Pub:NCSoft
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Hawking Joins Operation Immortality

Posted by Keith Cross on Sep 23, 2008  | Comments

Hawking Joins Operation Immortality - Tabula Rasa - MMORPG.com

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has become the latest and most famous earthling to add his DNA to Operation Immortality and have his genetic code sent into space.  Prof. Hawking says he is participating in the project to raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics which will award first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less with $10 million.

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 23, 2008—Stephen Hawking, best selling author of “A Brief History of Time” and the children’s book “George's Secret Key to the Universe” written along with his daughter Lucy, will be sending his digitized DNA into space as part of NCsoft’s® Operation Immortality™. Lucy Hawking is also participating in the project. Together, the father and daughter are hoping the project will raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, a competition that will award $10 million to the first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less.

Operation Immortality is a project intended to collect and archive the very best of what humanity has accomplished by sending a digital time capsule of the human race, including messages from people around the world and DNA samples from some of our brightest minds, musicians, athletes and video game players.

Hawking’s DNA will be transported into space by celebrated video game developer and longtime member of the X PRIZE Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Richard Garriott, who is traveling to the International Space Station (ISS) in October. Garriott, whose most recent video game project, Tabula Rasa®, depicts the destruction of mankind by an alien invasion, will take Hawking’s digitized DNA as well as an electronic copy of “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” on a storage device called the Immortality Drive where it will be placed on the ISS.

This is not the first time Hawking and Garriott have teamed up for high-flying adventures. In 2007, Garriott hosted Hawking aboard a zero gravity flight where Hawking was able to experience a weightless environment.

“Richard and I share the same dream of traveling into space,” said Stephen Hawking. “And we both realize the incredible importance of DNA to life in the universe.”

In actuality, Hawking would like to have sent his completely sequenced genome into space. Current science however, is not yet capable of producing low-cost, fully sequenced genomes. By participating in this project, Hawking hopes to highlight the need for inexpensive, fully sequenced human genomes so that scientists and doctors can begin to better understand ways to identify, treat and prevent disease.

Read more here.

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