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"...there's a great affinity between writing poetry and SF."
- Dan Simmons

Life Bank  
  A storage facility with the genetic material that was produced by Earth's ecosystem.  

Can we take some of the Earth's biosphere with us if we are forced to leave our planet?

There had been a time when wheat, soybeans, potatoes, corn and rice had been the major foods of the human race. Now there was no one alive who had ever seen them.

But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.

From The Ophiuchi Hotline, by John Varley.
Published by Quantum Science Fiction in 1977
Additional resources -

Compare to the genetic ark from Earth, a 1990 novel by David Brin.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Ophiuchi Hotline
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to The Ophiuchi Hotline
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

Life Bank-related news articles:
  - Doomsday Vault Design Now Final
  - Survival Seed Vault Low Cost Life Bank
  - Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades

Articles related to Biology
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue

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