Harvard scientists use CRISPR to store data in living bacteria cells

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Using the CRISPR gene-editing tool, scientists from Harvard University have developed a technique that permanently records data into living cells. Incredibly, the information imprinted onto these microorganisms can be passed down to the next generation.

CRISPR/Cas9 is turning into an incredibly versatile tool. The cheap and easy-to-use molecular editing system that burst onto the biotech scene only a few years ago is being used for a host of applications, including genetic engineering, RNA editing, disease modeling, and fighting retroviruses like HIV. And now, it can also be used to turn lowly microorganisms into veritable hard drives.

Scientists have actually done this before, but in a completely artificial way from start to finish. In these prior experiments, information was encoded into a DNA sequence, the DNA synthesized, and then that was it—all the information remained outside the realm of living organisms. In the new study, a Harvard research team led by geneticists Seth Shipman and Jeff Nivala went about DNA data storage in a completely different way.

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Read full, original post: Living Bacteria Can Now Store Data

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