31 August 2012

Books from life

Easing back into the online world after a couple of weeks away, here's something I wanted to note when I first read it in mid August:
Scientists have for the first time used DNA to encode the contents of a book. At 53,000 words, and including 11 images and a computer program, it is the largest amount of data yet stored artificially using the genetic material.

The researchers claim that the cost of DNA coding is dropping so quickly that within five to 10 years it could be cheaper to store information using this method than in conventional digital devices. One gram of DNA can store up to 455bn gigabytes: the contents of more than 100bn DVDs, making it the ultimate in compact storage media.
The cost of DNA synthesis and sequencing have been dropping at exponential rates of 5- and 12-fold per year, respectively – much faster than electronic media at 1.6-fold per year.
-- news report, article

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