genome, interstellar transmission of

The possibility of sending to the stars the instructions needed to clone an individual has been dealt with both in fiction, such as Fred Hoyle and John Elliott's A For Andromeda, and scientific debate. Among those who have speculated about transmitting genomes across interstellar distances is John Rather, of the Kaman Aerospace Corporation, who advocated the use of laser light as a carrier. In the case of a highly advanced species, he said, "it is even possible that they may have developed from organic bodies to some state, such as self-replicating electronic bodies that are much more versatile than organic matter." Such beings might then transport themselves over large distances by laser beam. "There are definite possibilities," suggested Rather, "for achieving data rates sufficient to transmit large numbers of the alien species."