DNA Hard Drive Could Store Data For Millions Of Years
Inspired by fossilized bones, researchers say they’ve found a way to preserve data in the form of DNA encased in silica. The findings, published in Angewandte Chemie this week, could lead to a way of preserving digital information permanently, or for a few millennia. Compared to ancient scrolls that have survived for thousands of years, the information written on servers and hard drives will last for a surprisingly short amount of time: 50 years or so. That’s why in the last few years, researchers have been eyeing DNA, nature’s storage medium. We already know that genetic material can store large volumes of information in a compact way, but attempts thus far have been thwarted by chemical degradation and mistakes in sequencing, resulting in errors and gaps in the encoded data once its retrieved. The latest development in long-term, error-free DNA storage comes from an ETH Zurich team led by Robert Grass. Read this next: Could Life On Earth Have Thrived 3.2 Billion Years Ago?
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