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The algorithm

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The algorithm
Chandra's mysterious algorithm appears to be a key to locating evolved humans.

First mentioned: Don't Look Back
Current status: Two known copies, one in Chandra's office and one destroyed

The algorithm appears to be a complex formula which can be used to locate evolved humans.


Don't Look Back

Mohinder tells Eden that he believes his father was working on a formula to locate humans with special abilities. Later, Eden discovers a USB flash drive half-buried in the gravel of the lizard Mohinder's terrarium. Mohinder plugs it into his father's laptop and the algorithm appears.

One Giant Leap

Initially excited by the discovery, Mohinder has become frustrated by his inability to understand the algorithm, which he now believes to be gibberish.

Seven Minutes to Midnight

Mohinder Suresh returns to Chennai, India and goes to his father's office at Chennai University to gather up his father's possessions. Mohinder discovers the algorithm scrolling across the computer screen. Mohinder accidentally bumps the mouse, and the prompt "Do You Want to Quit?" appears.


The algorithm is still scrolling on Chandra's computer screen. Ultimately, Mohinder responds to the prompt by selecting "No", and is asked for a password. After a few tries, he enters "Shanti", his dead sister's name. At once, the algorithm vanishes, and is replaced by a list of identified evolved humans.


Mohinder runs Zane Taylor's DNA (collected by Sylar) against the algorithm, but it does not yield any definitive results. After securing Sylar and taking a spinal fluid sample, Mohinder runs Sylar's DNA against the algorithm and locates four key genes that are at the basis of Chandra's test to locate potential evolved humans. When Sylar learns of the algorithm, he becomes violent.


After a battle with Peter, Sylar lays on the ground and notices a wrecked computer. Realizing that it contains the algorithm, he becomes enraged.

The Second Coming

In his apartment, Mohinder retrieves the flash drive from Mohinder the lizard's cage and plugs it in. He tells Maya that Chandra had been working for years to isolate the gene that causes abilities, and that all the research is located in the flash drive.


  • The entire algorithm seems to be made up of DNA base pairs; namely (A) adenine, (T) thymine, (C) cytosine, and (G) guanine, with dashes (-) standing in for missing sequences.
  • Within the DNA base-pair sequences of which the algorithm is composed, the blank areas form the image of the mysterious symbol.
  • Mohinder first attempts to crack the password of the algorithm by entering in "Darwin". In his second attempt, he entered the name "Sylar." He finally accessed The List when he realized that the password was the name of his sister, Shanti. This is similar to the movie WarGames (directed by John Badham), in which the main character unlocked a major computer program by entering the name of the program creator's son who died early and turned the professor into a cold and bitter man.


Research edit

Activating EvolutionThe algorithmBlood recipientsChandra's filesChandra's journalCoyote Sands filmsThe Genesis filesHuman Genome ProjectThe keyThe listThe mapThe Mozaic filePatient ZeroQuentin's boardSanjog's fileString web

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