DNA data storage

Microsoft, along with the researchers from the University of Washington, has conducted the first fully automated DNA data storage, with an aim to store data into small DNA forms instead of huge datacenters.

The demonstration involved the encoding of the word ‘Hello,’ along with its conversion into digital data with the help of an end-to-end system.

For those who don’t know, data storage in the form of DNA allows for more density and lesser space required to store data such as files, documents, and more. The data is stored in synthetic DNA molecules (which are not human or animal DNA) that can be encrypted and doesn’t require human hands to fulfill the job.

How does it work?

The system developed by Microsoft uses a specialized software for the conversion of digital data into DNA. Following this, chemicals are transferred to the synthesizers to make small pieces of DNA.

To decode the DNA, more chemicals are added and once done, the DNA is converted back into digital data.

It’s expected that this step by Microsoft will help in storing heaps of data produced with ease, much like the data is stored on cloud services.

Our ultimate goal is to put a system into production that, to the end user, looks very much like any other cloud storage service — bits are sent to a datacenter and stored there, and then they just appear when the customer wants them,” said Microsoft principal researcher Karin Strauss.

It is further suggested that data stored in DNA (if stored under the right conditions) can last way longer than traditional data storage tech.

Here is a video for a better understanding:

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