“War and Peace” and OK Go music video recorded on DNA
University of Washington and Microsoft researchers have broken what they believe is the world record for the amount of digital data successfully stored—and retrieved—in DNA molecules.
Microsoft says DNA could be a better way to store data for the long term than the magnetic tape companies rely on today.
The company reported today that it had written roughly 200 megabytes of data, The team of computer scientists and electrical engineers encoded and decoded a video of the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Gutenberg and the Crop Trust's seed database—among other things— all on strands of DNA.
DNA is a good storage medium because data can be written into molecules more densely than the basic elements of conventional storage technologies can pack it in, says Karin Strauss, Microsoft's lead researcher on the project, which also involves researchers from the University of Washington. Right now the technique is expensive and finicky, but the company hopes to piggyback on the plunging costs of tools for creating and reading out DNA driven by the biotech industry. DNA is seen as a potential replacement for magnetic tape, which is the standard mechanism for long-term data stores today.
Source: Technology Review