As noted back in August, scientists had been working on a method to use DNA to store data. Reportedly, scientists were now able to convert "739 kilobytes of hard drive data in genetic code and then retrieved the content with 100 percent accuracy." The read-write process sounds like it needs a bit of tweaking, but otherwise a very impressive feat.
The researchers began with the computer files from some notable cultural highlights: an audio recording of MLK Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets, and, appropriately, a copy of Watson and Crick's original research paper describing DNA's double helix structure. On a hard drive, these files are stored as a series of zeros and ones. The researchers worked out a system to translate the binary code into one with four characters instead: A, C, G and T. They used this genetic code to synthesize actual strands of DNA with the content embedded in its very structure.
The output was actually pretty unimpressive: just a smidgeon of stuff barely visible at the bottom of a test tube. The wow factor arose when they reversed the process. The researchers sequenced the genome of the data-laden DNA and translated it back into zeros and ones. The result was a re-creation of the original content without a single error, according to the results published in Nature on Wednesday.
|We're Officially in the Future|
|Bitcoin: the Digital Currency|
|“The greatest economic crisis of our age: the one still awaiting us.”|
|Crazy Space-Saving Designs for the Homes of the Future|
|Govern Your Country Throught Your iPad|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|
|“Are the puppets coming for our jobs?”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“The only thing worse than assuming that carbon removal will save the day is assuming it will save the day.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Chinese warehouse organises, packs, and fulfills 200,000 orders a day with four people|
|“Research that could engineer dinosaurs back into existence within the next five to 10 years.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|David Reeves' Paper Cutouts Inspired by Classic Cult Movies|