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DNA data storage device by ETH Zurich


SWITZERLAND: The researchers of ETH Zurich, a research institute, have found a way to store information in the form of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), preserving it for nearly an eternity as reported in the official website of the research institute.


ETH Zurich, an engineering, science, technology, mathematics and management institute in the city of Zurich, Switzerland, found a new way of storing the data permanently. ETH researches have been inspired by fossils.

Two years ago, researchers demonstrated that data could be saved and reread in the form of DNA. In that case, the time period between writing the information and the reading or sequencing, of the data was very short. Over the longer term, DNA can change significantly as it reacts chemically with the environment, significantly as it reacts chemically with the environment, thus presenting an obstacle to long-term storage.

Grass RN said, “Information, such as text printed on paper or images projected onto microfilm, can survive for over 500 years. However, the storage of digital information for time frames exceeding 50 years is challenging. Here we show that digital information can be stored on DNA and recovered without errors for considerably longer time frames. To allow for the perfect recovery of information, we encapsulates the DNA in an inorganic matrix and employ error-correcting codes to correct storage related errors. We translated 83 KB of information to 4991 DNA segments, each 158 nucleotides long, which were encapsulated in silica.”


The idea and the general considerations about the possibility of recording, storage and retrieval of information on DNA molecules were originally made by Mikhail Neiman and published in 1964-65 in the ‘Radiotekhnika Journal’, USSR (present day Russia). In 2012, a research was performed by George Church of Harvard University, in which DNA was encoded with digital information that included an HTML draft of 53,400 word book written by the lead researcher, eleven JPG images and one JavaScript program.

Translation in English: Save for #Ewigkeit – # ETH Zurich researchers preserve #Wissen in the form of #DNA: http://bit.ly/1zQWGtZ

Translation in English: To the #Ewigkeit save #Delete – #DNA makes it possible! http://bit.ly/17dwq1F viatagesanzeiger

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