DNA Data Storage Is Robust, Scalable
For the first time, scientists believe that they have developed a robust system for encoding information into DNA, and then reading it back with 100% accuracy.
Digital production, transmission and storage have revolutionized how we access and use information but have also made archiving an increasingly complex task that requires active, continuing maintenance of digital media. This challenge has focused some interest on DNA as an attractive target for information storage1 because of its capacity for high-density information encoding, longevity under easily achieved conditions and proven track record as an information bearer.
Previous DNA-based information storage approaches have encoded only trivial amounts of information or were not amenable to scaling-up, and used no robust error-correction and lacked examination of their cost-efficiency for large-scale information archival. Here we describe a scalable method that can reliably store more information than has been handled before. We encoded computer files totalling 739 kilobytes of hard-disk storage and with an estimated Shannon information of 5.2 × 106 bits into a DNA code, synthesized this DNA, sequenced it and reconstructed the original files with 100% accuracy.
Theoretical analysis indicates that our DNA-based storage scheme could be scaled far beyond current global information volumes and offers a realistic technology for large-scale, long-term and infrequently accessed digital archiving. In fact, current trends in technological advances are reducing DNA synthesis costs at a pace that should make our scheme cost-effective for sub-50-year archiving within a decade.
The first time I read about this idea was in an excellent series of fantasy novels by Barbara Hambly. In her 1982 Darwath trilogy, she writes about how wizards of several thousand years ago succeeded in tying information to the DNA of selected individuals.
In the story, several people from 1980's California find themselves transported across the Void to another planet and the Realm of Darwath. They face a deadly species of queerly magical beings - the Dark - who destroyed civilization thousands of years ago. Everything that was made of paper (like books and records) were burned to stave off attacks by the Dark.
Tying memories to a few suitable bloodlines was the only way to preserve a record of that period that would endure.
From Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA (Nature) via Discover.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/25/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
Storing 1 Zettabyte In 10 Grams
'It is theoretically possible to have a matrix in which each individual molecule has a meaning...'- Robert Heinlein, 1951.
Six Terabyte Solid State Drive Just 2.5 Inches
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres...'
Revault Wearable Private Cloud Is Too Vaporous
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres...'- Dan Simmons, 1989.
SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Denisovans, Neandertals... And Us?
'But in far realms, among strange hominids, you couldn't shun each other, either.'
Patented! Google's Autonomous Delivery Trucks
I hope Google's trucks can find my house!
3 Parent Embryos Approved By Bioethicists
' A tkan merely courts a mlenb and is attracted to a good guur...'
DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'
Tired Of Speeders On Your Block? DIY Speed Tracker!
'There is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be...'
Centriphone Whirling Selfie Camera
''Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me,' he told it...'
Eagles Vs. Drones
'Moon bird's view was... partly blocked by the pyramid, so that he did not see the bird-things dark against the brilliant sky...'
SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?
Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'
Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'
Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
'A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center...'
SuitX Cheap Medical Exoskeleton
'... standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'
Harvesting Energy From Internal Resonance
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'
Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.
Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Myo-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
'Sensitive actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories