Microsoft Looking at Synthetic DNA to Store Data
Gareth Andrews / 5 years ago
When it comes to finding and retrieving information, nature is still a thousand steps ahead of man when it comes to containing, storing and processing information. Be it the human brain or the very DNA we are made up of, we are constantly inspired and reminded of ways to upgrade our technology and Microsoft is looking at synthetic DNA to store its information in the future, but maybe not for a while.
DNA is the core building blocks of life and Microsoft has recently gone and purchased 10 million-long oligonucleotides from the startup Twist Bioscience. Microsoft had Twist Bioscience make 10 million synthetic DNA strands with a specified set of sequences. While Microsofts partner architect Doug Carmean was pleased with the results that they could “encode and recover 100 percent of the digital data from synthetic DNA”, Carmean is more than a little cautious as they are still years away from creating a commercially viable product.
If you are sitting there wondering how this helps, not only would the data be stable and resilient for years researchers from Harvard have managed to stuff not just one but 704 terabytes into a single gram of DNA. Could you soon see a computer that uses DNA sequencing to read and write data to a couple of grams of DNA? Maybe in a few years but for now the idea is just science fiction.