Half a Million DVDs in Your DNA

Robert F. Service, Graphics, Jan 23, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I saw this in a couple places today (here and here): "Researchers in the United Kingdom report today that they've encoded these works and others in DNA and later sequenced the genetic material to reconstruct the written, audio, and visual information." Several other initiatives are underway to accomplish the same thing. DNA has its disadvantages as a storage medium though: it's write-only, and you have to sequence it to recover your data. But it lasts a long time and "can be stable for thousands of years if kept in a cool, dry place." The main message here isn't that we'll be storing data in DNA in the future - it's that the trend toward ever more massive storgae systems is continuing apace.

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