Translating computerised files into DNA.

Computer files stored accurately on DNA in new breakthrough - Comment on 2013 January 24

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We already know that DNA is a robust way to store information because we can extract it from bones of woolly mammoths, which date back tens of thousands of years, and make sense of it. It's also incredibly small, dense and does not need any power for storage, so shipping and keeping it is easy. Read more:

Extracts from reports about new techniques of storing information follow. In reality, on the spiritual level, no information gets lost. Also information which is not captured by men somehow, does not get lost, and that for ever. About this see Book of life. Secrets will therefore in the end not remain secrets, everything will be known. This new technique, which was reported today, goes in this direction, and therefore confirms the possibility of information storage, as it is described in spiritual writings for millennia. Now the extracts:

 

Computer files stored accurately on DNA in new breakthrough

Scientists have recorded data . . . on strands of DNA, in a breakthrough which could see millions of records stored on a handful of molecules rather than computer drives.

By translating computerised files into DNA similar to that found in plants and animals, the researchers claim it is possible to store a billion books' worth of data for thousands of years in just a small test tube.

"We already know that DNA is a robust way to store information because we can extract it from bones of woolly mammoths, which date back tens of thousands of years, and make sense of it.

"It's also incredibly small, dense and does not need any power for storage, so shipping and keeping it is easy."

The advantage of using DNA over hard drives is that it does not require a constant supply of electricity, while "no-power" archiving materials such as magnetic tape degrade within a decade.

Scientists have long been able to read DNA, a code comprising four "letters", but using it to store information has been difficult because it is prone to decoding errors when the same letter is repeated.

In a study . . . the researchers demonstrated they could avoid the problem by translating computer files, made up of ones and zeroes, into a form of DNA code which did not allow letters to repeat themselves.

The code was sent to a US lab where experts converted it into synthetic strings of DNA which resembled a tiny grain of dust.

The researchers then sequenced the synthetic DNA to retrieve the code, before converting it back into the original computer files with 99.9 per cent accuracy.

"DNA, which is well known for being the stuff that every living organism's genome is made of, can also be used not in a living form but in an inert form to store really quite large quantities of digital information."

"The problem with the old school hard drive [is] it breaks down after a few years.

"If you're trying to store something long term on a hard drive it's not going to work. But with DNA, once you've written it once, it's really stable, you can just put it somewhere fairly safe and it is going to be good for thousands of years."

"Current estimates are that there is three zettabytes of information stored digitally on Earth."

Gene research

Hard disc genetic make-up

Storing on DNA

Gene researcher have stored on DNA. The data could be read with absolute exactness. Only disadvantage: The method is still much too expensive.

All information important for survival of an organism is stored in the genetic make-up. But the code of life could in future also have quite other data ready: Scientists test DNA molecules, of which genetic make-up is made of, as storage medium for books and music. For a test they have written and read different data formats in DNA.

The decisive advantage of the process is the high storage density and the great exactness at decoding.

The basic storage principle is well tried and tested: The DNA is composed of four nucleotide building blocks: A, C, G, T. From these letters scientists produced a digital binary code. A and C stands for zero, the two others, G and T, for one.

In the actual process experts split the DNA in many small, overlapping sections and provided the fragments with short appendages, from which the position of the particular part in the entire code emerges. By this mistakes at the production of the DNA are very unlikely.

They were able to produce the data again to 100 per cent therefore correct.

"DNA is unbelievably small and needs no power supply at storage, so that transport and keeping are also simple."

 

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