Popular Science

Storing data on DNA may not be practical, but it's possible—and it sure sounds cool

Researchers stored an operating system and a short movie on DNA
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Will DNA be the next storage medium for information?

Our DNA is the coding that programs everything about us. Now it's being used to encode videos and operating systems. Dense and durable, DNA could store 200 petabytes (200,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or around 200,000 laptops) in one gram, as shown by a study in this week’s Science. Experts say DNA could be a promising storage solution in the era of information explosion—if only cost were not an issue.

Harvard researchers stored a 50,000-word book in 2012. And around the same time, the European Bioinformatics Institute stored things including Shakespeare’s sonnets and an audio clip of the “I Have a Dream” speech. But what makes this latest study special

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