Biochemists store data for a long time in DNA




Swiss biochemists presented Monday is a way to store data in DNA which was encapsulated in a matrix of silicon spheres. The synthesized DNA showed very little decline in the silicon, which makes it completely suitable for long term data storage.

In the presentation at the annual convention of the American Chemical Society explained the researchers explain how they got their method of storage for each other, too, they told how they simulated the conditions of the effect that 2000 years storage at about ten degrees Celsius in the DNA in the silica matrix would have. After the simulation, wherein the storage medium for one week was stored at 70 degrees Celsius, the digital information without errors was found to be able to be retrieved.

In the experiment, the Swiss combined the information theory concept of forward error correction with a chemical tool to join to encapsulate DNA. The first 83 kilo byte of the information was encoded with Reed-Solomon Code 4991 and translated into DNA sequences of DNA building blocks each 117 long. With the aid of the error correction code which was stopped in the code, all the information could be read out without error. The coded information consisted of the text of the Federal Letter from 1291 and the method of Archimedes to calculate pi using polyhedra.

“Not long after the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA was invented that the coding in nature is not much different than the binary language that we use in computers,” says one of the researchers Robert Grass. “Hard disk drives we use zeros and ones. In dna we have four nucleotides, A, C, T and G.”

DNA has long been recognized as a possible component of future computers. Especially long-term storage is interesting because while the amount of data that can be stored safely, are large. In each cell of our body is approximately 750MB example of genetic information. In theory, one gram of DNA can store more than 300.000TB information. It is also known from archaeological studies show that DNA often many times longer than a few thousand years remains good, sometimes up to a few hundred thousand years.

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