Wednesday, 19 July 2017


 Researchers of the Columbia University along with the New York Genome Center (NYGC) successfully carried out the storage of data in abundance on DNA. As described the Author Yaniv Erlich, this is the “ highest-density data-storage device ever created.”

According to the news release from the researchers, DNA is the perfect storage medium; it is ultra-compact and last hundreds of thousands of years if kept cool and dry.  DNA won’t degrade over time like cassette tapes and CDs, and it won’t become obsolete-

Erlich; a professor  of Computer Science at Columbia Engineering and Dina Zielinski a scientist at NYGC, successfully encoded six files into DNA: A full computer operating system, a movie “Arrival of a train at La Ciotat, An Amazon gift card, a computer virus a pioneer plaque and 1948 study by information theorist, Claude Shannon.

They first compressed the files into a master file and split the data into short strings of binary code, made up of ones and zeros. Next, "using an erasure-correcting algorithm called FOUNTAIN CODES they randomly packaged the strings into so-called droplets and mapped the ones and zeros in each droplet to the four nucleotide bases in DNA: A, G, C, and T," according to the release.

Twist Bioscience, a San Francisco based DNA synthesis entity, a specialist in converting to biological data from digital data made two molecules out of the list of 72,000 DNA strands send by the above researching organization.

It took two weeks to receive a package holding a speck of DNA molecules.  The school wrote... "To retrieve their files, they used modern sequencing technology to read the DNA strands, followed by software to translate the genetic code back into binary. They recovered their files with zero errors."

According to the researchers, this technique allows for 215 petabytes of data to be stored in a gram of DNA.  How ever this method costs very high monetarily.

  They spent $7000 per 2MB of data to be synthesized and extra $2000 to read it.  So don’t think this will be available in the market in the immediate future.

No comments:

Post a Comment