Media News - Friday, August 17, 2012
In a scientific first, Harvard University researches successfully transformed a 53,426-word book into DNA, the same substance that provides the genetic template for all living things. The achievement could eventually lead to the mass adoption of DNA as a long-term storage medium. Published Thursday in the journal Science, the experiment aimed to demonstrate the viability of storing large amounts of data on DNA molecules. Since the data is recorded on individual nucleobase pairs in the DNA strand, DNA can actually store more information per cubic millimeter than flash memory or even some experimental storage techs, IEEE Spectrum reports. The difficulty is in the translation — both to DNA and back again. The researchers Besides the storage density, DNA storage has two more advantages. The first is longevity; DNA lasts for thousands of years (or even millions, if it’s trapped in amber). The second is future-proofing: Since DNA is the basis of all life, future societies will always have technologies available to read it. There are downsides, though. There’s the cost — DNA-sequencing equipment is still relatively expensive — but the data is also unchangeable once it’s encoded. DNA is strictly a write-once medium. (Mashable)
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