Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bacteria for data storage

Japanese researchers are developing methods to store data as genetic code in a bacteria's DNA. As a proof-of-concept, Keio University professor Masaru Tomita and his colleagues translated "E equals MC squared" and "1905," the year Einstein published his theory of relativity, into the T, C, A, G genetic code and inserted it into a living bacterium.

From the Australian Associated Press:

Genetic coding is so massive that information - say, a Shakespeare play - can be stashed away somewhere in the gene without affecting an organism's overall appearance and other traits.

But mutation could distort stored data. Tomita says data are stored in four places in the bacteria so the data stay intact...

"Many people never even thought about storing data for thousands of years," Tomita said.

"This may sound like a dream. But we're thinking hundreds of millions of years."


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