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Making Data Storage Personal With #MemoriesInDNA


Storing personal data in DNA.

University of Washington researchers partnered with Microsoft and Twist Bioscience to convert 10,000 images into genetic code.

Credit: UW Daily Online

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have teamed with Microsoft and Twist Bioscience to encode 10,000 digital images into DNA via the #MemoriesInDNA Project.

"The motivation...is that DNA as a storage medium is very dense and very durable," says Microsoft's Karin Strauss.

The encoding process starts by assigning the 1s and 0s that comprise the binary code of an image to a specific nucleotide, and then Twist Bioscience produces synthetic strands of DNA based on this code. The company sends back stacks of small test tubes filled with a cloudy mass of DNA that scientists can decode back into the original image.

The researchers intend to perform experiments with the DNA memories, with an emphasis on smart image search that functions similar to a hashtag or keyword search.

Every encoded image will be provided with additional DNA sequences that correspond directly to a key feature in the image.

From UW Daily Online
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