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hundred dollar bills twisted into a DNA helix

From cat memes and music tracks to all manner of digital art, the bizarre, often quirky market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is booming. And now, science is hopping on the bandwagon for these receipts of ownership of digital files that are bought and sold online.

On 8 June, the University of California, Berkeley, auctioned off an NFT based on documents relating to the work of Nobel-prizewinning cancer researcher James Allison for more than US$50,000. On 17 June, the US Space Force — a branch of the US Armed Forces — started selling a series of NFTs featuring augmented-reality images of satellites and space iconography.

And, from 23 to 30 June, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, is auctioning an NFT featuring the source code of the original web browser, along with a silent video of the code being typed out.

Meanwhile, biology pioneer George Church and a company he co-founded, Nebula Genomics in San Francisco, California, have advertised their intention to sell an NFT of Church’s genome. Church, a geneticist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts... see more