Turning DNA into a hard drive for data storage. How do you extract the data when you need it?

Image: Shannon May

With massive amounts of data being generated around the world every day, DNA is poised to provide an ultracompact storage solution by encoding and decoding binary data to and from As, Cs, Gs and Ts — the chemical bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, which make up the building blocks of DNA. Right now, using DNA to store data is expensive, but like reading and writing DNA, the cost is expected to come down as the technology improves and the demand from private companies and government increases.

OneZero sat down with Emily Leproust, CEO of Twist Bioscience, [October 1] at SynBioBeta, a synthetic biology industry conference, to talk about the synthetic DNA market.

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[One Zero:] How do you extract information from DNA when you need it?

[Leproust:] The DNA is the media, so if you take a file, it’s a bunch of zeros and ones. Then you can convert that to As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. That goes onto a silicon chip for the synthesis and is stored in a little capsule. Then when you need the data, you send the capsule back to us and we’ll put that DNA into a machine called a sequencer that reads DNA.

Read full, original post: Who’s Going to Use DNA to Store Their Data?

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