When you thought that blue-rays and memory sticks are going to be the most efficient storing environment you’re going to use, a team of researchers from the Columbia University proved that biology beats technology in matters of love and, not to mention, information storage. The scientists from the said University managed to store a $50 Amazon gift card, a movie, and an operating system on a DNA strand using advanced genome manipulation techniques.
Recently, a team of scientist from the Columbia University has announced that the successful transfer of 2,146,816 bytes of information on DNA strand using a novel DNA manipulation technique. This new experiment paves the way to creating new devices able to store a greater volume of information at lower production costs.
Although the perspective of using living molecules as storage environments is not entirely something new under the sun only recently were scientists able to compress computer information efficiently enough in order to fit in a DNA strand.
So, how was this achieved? According to the Columbia University researchers, six files were selected for this novel experiment: a computer virus, a 50 bucks Amazon gift card, an operating system, and, of course, a copy of the critically-acclaimed movies Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat.
After the files had been selected, they were added to a master document. Then, by using a special algorithm called DNA fountain, the researchers were able to split this master document into binary code. Now, the next step of the process was trickier.
The binary code resulted after successfully splitting the master document was sequenced into so-called droplets, which were later mapped to one of the DNA’s four nucleotide bases. Sound’s rather strange, doesn’t it?
Well, according to the paper submitting by the research team, with this revolutionary method we can pretty soon wave bye-bye to conventional storage methods such as hard-disk, blue-rays or memory disks. In fact, the scientists could have stored up to 60 percent more information on the DNA strand used during their experiments.
Now, the last step in proving that molecules are apt storing environments, the scientists had to come up with a way to access and to retrieve the stored information. To this end, the scientists added a barcode-style system for quick access to the information stored on the DNA strands and used DNA sequencing in order to retrieve all data stored biologically.
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