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DNA data storage: 100 million hours of HD video in every cup

By Jonathan Keith

Shakespeare's sonnets, Martin Luther King's and Watson and Crick's seminal paper have been encoded in DNA and decoded successfully.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Biological systems have been using DNA as an information storage molecule for billions of years. Vast amounts of data can thus be encoded within microscopic volumes, and we carry the proof of this concept in the cells of our own bodies.

Could this ultimate storage solution meet the ever-growing needs of archivists in this age of digital information?

This dream has come a step closer to reality with the publication of a new technique in this week’s edition of the scientific journal Nature.

Stored in DNA

A team of researchers headed by Nick Goldman and Ewan Birney at the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI) has dramatically demonstrated the potential of the technique to store and transport human-made data.

Their data included some well-chosen iconic elements: Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, an audio excerpt from Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, Watson and Crick’s classic paper on the structure of...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Jonathan Keith is Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University. This article was originally published at The Conversation.