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Thread: Scientists Store an Operating System, a Movie and a Computer Virus on DNA

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    Scientists Store an Operating System, a Movie and a Computer Virus on DNA

    Just last year, Microsoft purchased 10 Million strands of synthetic DNA from San Francisco DNA synthesis startup called Twist Bioscience and collaborated with researchers from the University of Washington to focus on using DNA as a data storage medium.

    However, in the latest experiments, a pair of researchers from Columbia University and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) have come up with a new technique to store massive amounts of data on DNA, and the results are marvelous.


    The duo successfully stored 214 petabytes of data per gram of DNA, encoding a total number of six files, which include:

    • A full computer operating system
    • An 1895 French movie "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat"
    • A $50 Amazon gift card
    • A computer virus
    • A Pioneer plaque
    • A 1948 study by information theorist Claude Shannon

    The new research, which comes courtesy of Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski, has been published in the journal Science.


    Continues

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    Senior Member Ediruc's Avatar
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    This seems like just something fun to do and not very practical.

    One of the examples, being a computer virus, can only work within the OS and embeds itself as a Trojan horse or innocuous-looking files. It needs the OS to actually function and work and do what it is suppose to do and act as harmful malware.

    I don't see how that would work with human DNA.

    Edit: Woops. I read further and saw it was for data storage purposes only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ediruc View Post
    This seems like just something fun to do and not very practical.

    One of the examples, being a computer virus, can only work within the OS and embeds itself as a Trojan horse or innocuous-looking files. It needs the OS to actually function and work and do what it is suppose to do and act as harmful malware.

    I don't see how that would work with human DNA.

    Edit: Woops. I read further and saw it was for data storage purposes only.
    Virus get cells to replicate them. Would have to look up how exactly they do that.

    And DNA is probably the smallest way of storing data (and information) we know of in the world. Apparently genes are also multitasking and actually work like some kind of Zip file meaning information is stored than more as in a linear way.

    I see they mention the density part also in the article.
    'Highest-Density Data-Storage Device Ever Created'
    The researchers believe that DNA is the perfect storage medium – as it is ultra-compact and can last hundreds of thousands of years if kept cool and dry – and suggests this is the "highest-density data-storage device ever created."
    Since the digital universe is large and by 2020 containing nearly as many digital bits as there are stars in the universe, the data will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes.
    So, DNA data storage could help big organizations store an enormous amount of information in a way that one can still be able to read it in a hundred years.
    However, cost is still an issue. The researchers spent around $7,000 to synthesize the 2MB of data and another $2,000 to read that data.
    However, with the time this will change, so do not expect this technique to go mainstream anytime soon.

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