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Codex Translates Binary Data Into DNA Code

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DNA helix and binary numbers, illustration

The IARPA MIST program is working on DNA synthesis, sequencing, coding, and decoding.

Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

In support of a project to store data in DNA molecules, a Los Alamos National Laboratory-led team has developed a key enabling technology that translates digital binary files into the four-letter genetic alphabet needed for molecular storage.

The work is key part of the IARPA Molecular Information Storage program to bring cheaper, bigger, longer-lasting storage to big-data operations in government and the private sector. The short-term goal is to write 1 terabyte and read 10 terabytes within 24 hours for $1,000.

"DNA storage could disrupt the way we think about archival storage," says Bradley Settlemyer, a storage systems researcher and systems programmer at Los Alamos. "But researchers first have to clear a few daunting technological hurdles."

From Los Alamos National Laboratory
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