Recruited for data storage: DNA is millions of times more efficient than hard drive


EXCERPT: DNA is millions of times more efficient at storing data than your laptop's magnetic hard drive. Since DNA can store data far more densely than silicon, you could squeeze all of the data in the world inside just a few grams of it.

"Because DNA has been chosen by all of life as the information storage medium of turns out to be very robust," Ilya Finkelstein ... tells Popular Mechanics. "Long after our magnetic storage becomes obsolete, nature will still be using DNA."

Finkelstein is part of a team ... who are pushing the limits on DNA-based storage methods. While this research area at the intersection of molecular biology and computer science has been around since the 1980s, scientists have struggled to find a way to correct the errors that DNA can be so prone to making.

In a ... paper published ... in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Finkelstein and company detail their new error correction method, which they tested out on a classic film. They were able to store the entirety of The Wizard of Oz, translated into Esperanto, with more accuracy than prior DNA storage methods ever could have. We're on the yellow brick road toward the future of data storage... (MORE - details)

RELATED (eurekalert): Power of DNA to store information gets an upgrade

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