The Rise of DNA Data Storage

Could DNA as an archival medium be the solution to our information overload?

The Rise of DNA Data Storage

The 144 words of Robert Frost’s seminal poem “The Road Not Taken” fit neatly onto a single printed page. Or in a 1-kilobyte data file. Or, in Hyunjun Park’s hands, in a few drops of water at the bottom of a pink Eppendorf tube. Well, really what’s inside the water: invisible floating strands of DNA.

Scientists have long touted DNA’s potential as an ideal storage medium; it’s dense, easy to replicate, and stable over millennia. And in the past few years, researchers have encoded all kinds of things in those strings of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs: War and Peace, Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” a galloping horse GIF. But in order to replace existing silicon-chip or magnetic-tape storage technologies, DNA will have to get a lot cheaper to predictably read, write, and package.  Read More…

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