DailyDirt: Storing Data On DNA
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
There are lots of ways to store information nowadays — from cloud services to nano-lithography to synthesizing custom strands of DNA. Some methods are cheaper or more convenient than others, but if physical space is really a premium, then encoding a gazillion bits of data on a few grams of DNA seems like the way to go. Here are just a few projects working on using DNA as an archiving medium.
- A recent project encoded all of Shakespeare’s sonnets (along with some other text and images) on DNA, putting 5.2 million bits of information (including some error correction) into some tangible goo. It costs roughly $12,400 to encode a megabyte of data and $220 to read it, and since sequencing DNA will never become obsolete (and is getting cheaper to do), DNA storage could be an excellent archiving technology. [url]
- A milligram of DNA *could* contain all the text every book in the Library of Congress — and all digital data that humans have ever created could be stored on a handful of DNA. We’d just have to make sure never to forget how to translate the digitized data from DNA back into a comprehensible form. [url]
- Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) created the first self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell in 2010 — and included a genetic watermark in the bacteria’s DNA. The DNA watermark encoded some extra data such as the names of 46 researchers who worked on the project, as well as a URL and some famous quotations. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.