Researchers encode a movie onto living bacteria

From Engadget - July 13, 2017

It's not the first time we have seen data stored in this fashion. Back in 2003 a small message was encoded into DNA, and more recently we have seen a full operating system written into DNA strands. One team is even trying to store poetry in DNA. But this is the first time it's been attempted with living bacteria, rather than synthetic material, which presents a unique set of challenges. Live cells are constantly moving and changing, and are liable to interpret the addition of data to their DNA as an invading virus, and subsequently destroy it. That's why, shaky and blurred as it is, this movie breaks new ground.

The world is generating huge amounts of digital data, and scientists see DNA as an effective way of not only dealing with the volumes produced, but as a secure method of preservation. In the face of nuclear explosions, radiation exposure or extreme temperature fluctuation some bacteria can continue to exist -- data centers will not.


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