No Longer Science Fiction: Data Encoded In DNA

Game-changing research just published in Science.. Geneticists at Harvard have encoded an entire book into DNA:

Biology’s databank, DNA has long tantalized researchers with its potential as a storage medium: fantastically dense, stable, energy efficient and proven to work over a timespan of some 3.5 billion years…Church’s team married next-generation sequencing technology with a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest amount of data previously stored in DNA. (via Science Daily)

The result? 5.5 petabits, or 1 million gigabits, per cubic millimeter! Further, ~4 grams of DNA could theoretically store all of the digital data humankind creates in one year. The prospect? As geneticist George Church explains in WSJ:

“A device the size of your thumb could store as much information as the whole Internet.”

Emerging technologies in science are exciting. When the research is conducted by a friend, they’re even more so… Congratulations to Sri Kosuri and his team at the Wyss Institute.

Using next-generation sequencing technology and a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest data size previously achieved in DNA, a Harvard geneticist encodes his book in life’s language. (Credit: Image courtesy of Harvard Medical School)