God's name in vein

Biohacker injects DNA versions of Bible, Quran verses into his body

Adrien Locatelli says he simply wondered whether it would be possible, adds that he excluded religious passages he deemed to be ‘controversial’

Illustration of syringe, 2009. (Chen Leopold / Flash 90.)
Illustration of syringe, 2009. (Chen Leopold / Flash 90.)

A French high school student converted passages from the Bible and Quran into DNA sequences and then injected them into his legs as part of a so-called biohack.

Biohacking is the practice of trying to improve the practitioner’s own body by enhancing it through the introduction of chemicals or devices.

Adrien Locatelli said he did the experiment simply because he ‘wondered whether it would be possible,’ the Daily Mail reported.

Locatelli’s leg was swollen for a few days after he administered the injection, but experts warned the effects could have been far more serious, perhaps even deadly.

DNA is composed of four units, each of which is assigned a letter. Locatelli assigned one of those four letters to every character in the religious tracts he selected.

These proteins were built in a laboratory, before Locatelli injected them into his thighs.

He converted Hebrew passages from Genesis 1:1 to 11:9, excluding 2:10 to 2:14, 5, and 7:1 to 7:5 because they were “controversial,” the Daily Mail reported.

Locatelli also converted Arabic passages from Surah Ar-Ra’d, the 13th chapter of the Quran.

“Recent studies have reported that it is possible to convert any type of information into DNA for the purpose of storage,” wrote Locatelli in a paper for a biohacking website.

“Since it is possible to convert digital information into DNA, I wondered whether it would be possible to convert a religious text into DNA and to inject it in a living being,” he said.

“It is the first time that someone injects himself [with] macromolecules developed from a text. It is very symbolic even if it does not have much interest,” Locatelli added.

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