Can DNA Rescue African Semi-legendary Chronicles?
Southern African social institutions are based on societal values, with folktales being used to teach moral values, preserve and perpetuate wisdom accumulated over many generations. The integration of folktales from oral to written phases has seen them being used in modern day schools as instructional strategies for teaching moral values and cultural competence. However, even though the art did not die with western conquest, folktales now face existential threats due to deculturation and western influence.
The solution might lie in the archiving these folktale files as physical Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) strands whose code can be read and converted back into a file’s original format as previously demonstrated in other studies. Algorithms for encoding these data in DNA strands can be developed by taking binary data of folktale files and converting them into DNA bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T), with each base being represented by a binary value. The DNA strands can then be synthesized and stored. To read the stored data, DNA is simply sequenced and the AGCT bases are converted back into binary. Hence DNA can be a perfect target for encoding, archiving and retrieving of the dying folktales for centuries.