Harvard Scientists Use DNA to Store 700 Terabytes of Data

TGAC. Image via Wikipedia.

TGAC. Image via Wikipedia.Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have embedded 5.5 petabits of data into a single gram of DNA. The revolutionary work conducted by George Church and Sri Kosuri treats DNA like any other digital storage unit by synthesizing 96 bit strands of DNA with TGAC representing binary numbers (T and G as 1, A and C as 0).

To process the data it is sequenced in much the same method as that used on the human genome and the TGAC bases are converted back into binary code. The DNA can be sorted using 19-bit identifier addresses at the beginning of each strand of DNA code. DNA as a storage medium is not a new idea as scientists have examined it for some time because of its many advantages over hard disks: namely, it is dense, volumetric, and stable.