Researchers Store Full Computer Operating System on DNA


KHAN ITs

Proving that everything old is new again, researchers are now storing data on the oldest information storage solution there is: DNA.

A pair of researchers at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) have come up with a technique to store massive amounts of data on DNA. The result, according to study coauthor Yaniv Erlich, is the “highest-density data-storage device ever created.”

The researchers say DNA is the perfect storage medium: it’s ultra-compact and can last hundreds of thousands of years if kept cool and dry, according to a news release from Columbia.

“DNA won’t degrade over time like cassette tapes and CDs, and it won’t become obsolete—if it does, we have bigger problems,” Erlich, a computer science professor at Columbia Engineering, said in a statement.

Erlich and his colleague Dina Zielinski, an associate scientist at NYGC, successfully encoded six files into DNA: a full computer operating system…

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