Computer OS, short movie successfully stored in DNA

Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski. Credit New York Genome Center

NY scientists were able to successfully store, replicate and retrieve multiple digital files using DNA, as if it were like a real computer hard drive.

The latest record was established by a group of researchers from Columbia University and from the New York Genome Center.

Using a computer algorithm called the fountain code, the binary strings were stored inside droplets which were then mapped to the DNA's four nucleotide bases.

Aside from being microscopically small, putting data in DNA will allow us to safely store information for hundreds of thousands of years into the future. Ever since DNA was first discovered in the 1950s by James Watson and Francis Crick, scientists quickly realized huge quantities of data could be stored at high density in only a few molecules.

So what did the duo decide to use to test their method? The files included a full computer operating system, a 1895 French film, an Amazon gift card, a computer virus, a Pioneer plaque, and a study by information theorist Claude Shannon.

Once they converted all that data into DNA-compatible information, they sent it to Twist Bioscience, a San Francisco startup specializing in DNA synthesis. The files were recovered with no errors.


DNA as a storage medium makes sense-after all, it already stores the billions of letters that code for life. Then, by using a special algorithm called DNA fountain, the researchers were able to split this master document into binary code. They also showed that the technology is extremely reliable. The storage capacity is massive; it can reach a density of 215 Petabytes per gram of DNA and can last a very long period of time. But Erlich took a cue from the entertainment section of the newspaper in developing DNA Fountain.

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. Within two-weeks the company produced a vial holding the DNA molecules encoded with the data. But, until now, they've only unlocked a fraction of its storage capacity.

In addition, the researchers showed they could easily copy DNA-encoded files using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique now commonplace in genetics labs.

Instead, the researchers think the best application for DNA storage is for online archiving services such as Amazon Glacier, which are designed for long-term storage of data that are only accessed infrequently and where waits of several hours to retrieve files are acceptable. "We can do more of the heavy lifting on the computer to take the burden off time-intensive molecular coding", he said.

Church, who was not part of the new study, believes the immediate use of the DNA data storage is for archiving. According to Erlich and Sri Kosuri, a biochemist at the University of California, Los Angeles, it costs $7,000 to synthesize just 2MB of data.

Related News:

  • Ruled out of PSL final, Shahid Afridi posts emotional message

    Ruled out of PSL final, Shahid Afridi posts emotional message

    Any security lapses would be a massive setback, he added, saying "we can say goodbye to int cricket in Pak for the next decade". It is not any one of the top cities of Pakistan - the capital Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi - who will be contesting the final.
    A liberating ode to the moment heartbreak turns to hope

    A liberating ode to the moment heartbreak turns to hope

    Lorde worked on the song with Jack Antonoff, best known as the guitarist of fun . and the frontman of Bleachers . Celebrity fans have shown their support for Green Light . "This is where we begin", Lorde tweeted yesterday.
    Snap makes public market debut

    Snap makes public market debut

    Snapchat has become hugely popular with young smartphone users keen to share messages that don't stay on the web for long. Before, the company was privately held, meaning there was no public market to buy and sell Snap shares.
  • 'There Will Be More Killings': Duterte Committed to Merciless War on Drugs

    'There Will Be More Killings': Duterte Committed to Merciless War on Drugs

    Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the drug war is created to "protect humanity from modern-day evils". Apart from these, HRW also documented 24 incidents that resulted in the deaths of 32 people.
    Rand Paul Hunts for Obamacare Replacement Plan Held in 'Secure Location'

    Rand Paul Hunts for Obamacare Replacement Plan Held in 'Secure Location'

    Republicans on Thursday said that the Democratic hunt was ridiculous and that their members were still working on the legislation. And with that, Hoyer leads the viewers through doors and down corridors, descending steps of Congress in search of this bill.
    Torres taken to hospital after head injury in Atletico game

    Torres taken to hospital after head injury in Atletico game

    Atletico players Gabi and Sime Vrsaljko were quick to react, attempting to clear Torres's airways. Immediately after the game, boss Diego Simeone said: "Torres is conscious, he has a head trauma".
  • Call to protect United Kingdom  plants affected by Vauxhall sale to PSA Group

    Call to protect United Kingdom plants affected by Vauxhall sale to PSA Group

    United Kingdom business minister, Greg Clark, said that his meeting with Tavares was constructive and reassuring. The two companies had been bickering about who should be responsible for footing the bill.
    Obama is staging a political comeback

    Obama is staging a political comeback

    Voting districts are redrawn after a federal Census to reflect the changes in population and other demographic. He added that the decision to throw out a challenge to voter laws in Texas was "disheartening". "It's coming.

    Insider Trading at Kite Pharma Inc?

    Fred Locke, a blood cancer expert at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa who co-led the study and has been a paid adviser to Kite . The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link .
  • Abercrombie Earnings, Same-Store Sales Slide (ANF)

    Abercrombie Earnings, Same-Store Sales Slide (ANF)

    Abercrombie & Fitch has continued to underperform for years while Hollister has remained its sole saving grace throughout. The company reported the earnings of $0.02/Share in the last quarter where the estimated EPS by analysts was $0.21/share.

    Harry Kane, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld all doubtful for Everton clash

    Tottenham go in search of a new club record of nine successive Premier League home wins against Everton, live on Super Sunday . "Of course that injury I had earlier in the season might have done me a bit of good, getting a bit more rest", Kane said.
    How to get Epona in Breath of the Wild

    How to get Epona in Breath of the Wild

    Dohta outlined how most action games are made up of the same components: collision, movement, and object states. Giant Bomb said the sense of wonder in Breath of the Wild is akin to A Link to the Past , and Ocarina of Time .


Most liked

Microsoft To Bring Mixed Reality To Xbox One, Project Scorpio In 2018
Microsoft has collaborated with other tech giants to create what has been dubbed as the Microsoft mixed reality gears. There's just one thing: Microsoft insists that these five devices aren't virtual reality headsets.

US Soccer implements rule requiring players to stand for national anthem
Megan Rapinoe will face punishment if she knees again during the national anthem. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S.

John Ross Breaks 40-Yard Dash Record At NFL Combine
The NFL is a speed-driven league and when a player as rare as Ross comes around, his draft value naturally goes up. John Ross ran a record 4.22 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine Saturday. "So, you know, I had to run in the Nikes".

Le Pen Stripped of Immunity in ISIS Twitter Case
His campaign treasurer quit on Thursday, when three Republican lawmakers also announced they were withdrawing their support. He has built up his own party machine and attracted endorsements from both the left and right of the political spectrum.

McDonald's aims to win customers back with mobile ordering, delivery
Likewise, if more customers use that app and have their food delivered curbside, that could ease drive-thru lines as well. McDonald's stock is up 6.7 percent year-to-date, and up 9.3 percent the past year.

Trump supporters gather at Capitol in Lansing
Bracketed by the state Legislature and the legislative office building, people carried signs and wore shirts backing Trump. Even on that, Trump supporters disagreed.

Remy Ma posts NSFW photo of Nicki Minaj, releases second diss track
After Remy Ma released the track, Twitter quickly showed it's dislike - with the hashtag #ThatWasTrashRemyMa trending in minutes. Whatever the cause, it's clear the two now are at full scale war and Remy is seeking to all-out destroy her opponent.

Most Recent analysts Ratings: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:AMTD)
The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link . Mewhirter now forecasts that the firm will earn $0.38 per share for the quarter, down from their previous estimate of $0.44.

Pirates infielder Kang gets suspended sentence for drink driving
Prosecutors had sought a summary order with a fine of 15 million won [$13,000 in the U.S.] on Kang. Kang had 21 home runs and 62 RBIs in 103 games in 2016 during his second season in the majors.

Breath of the Wild could be the best Zelda in years
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already being hailed as a revolution for both the franchise and gaming in general. Buying the Nintendo Switch isn't going to be all that exciting if it weren't for this game .

More Flu Deaths Reported in NC Last Week
Signs to watch for include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. The New Mexico Department of Health says flu season cases are widespread and they think it's just getting started.

Cuomo condemns threats during JCC visit
Cuomo said he would like to every governor in the nation sign similar executive orders against BDS. Cuomo reminded his audience Wednesday that NY has the largest Jewish population outside Israel.

Air strikes said to target al Qaeda in Yemen
The White House has pushed back against criticism of the raid, the first of its kind authorized by Trump as commander in chief. The U.S. raid in January killed some two dozen civilians, including Abdullah Mabkhout al-Ameri.

Disney's 'DuckTales' reboot gets a second season, and a trailer
Tennant, playing a pitch-perfect Scrooge, is joined by Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan as Huey, Duey, and Louie, respectively.

Coyotes C Alex Burmistrov injured, taken off on stretcher vs. Bruins
Burmistrov, 25, is a 2010 first-round draft pick from Russian Federation who has one goal and 10 assists this season. Miller was ejected from the game for a major penalty and a game misconduct, even though the hit seemed clean.