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The quest for ever smaller/larger storage DNA

     
11:50 pm on Jul 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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New DNA 'hard drive' could keep files intact for millions of years
Microsoft and genetics boffins predict genetics in the datacenter


Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and Microsoft have managed to write data directly onto DNA, a format with dramatic storage densities and a very long life.

The team wrote 200MB onto strands of synthetic DNA, including video of the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Gutenberg and the Crop Trust's seed database. They were then able to read the data using error correction code developed by Microsoft, and could do so again long in the future.

"We've seen evidence that this could last intact for thousands of years," Karin Strauss, Microsoft's lead researcher on the project, told The Reg. "Synthetic encapsulation is very temperature-dependent, but at 10 degrees Celsius the DNA won't degrade for around 2,000 years, and at -18 degrees it could last for millions."

[theregister.co.uk...]
If only available now! I'm running out of spinning rust to save all those vital cat videos!
12:25 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'll need to move to a cooler clime if I'm going to keep my keyboard cat videos for future generations.

Honestly, I believe the temperature control aspect is going to keep this technology from widespread adoption.
2:35 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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In the scheme of things what is the difference between 2k years or 1m+ years to a human? I won't be around either way to give an opinion. :)
2:40 am on July 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have long had the idea of a sci-fi story about a librarian/forester who maintains massive data stores in the form of a genetically engineered sequoia grove. This brings us one step closer.
9:13 am on July 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It might, if the genetically engineered sequoia last longer than their real life counterparts. (about 1,250 years average, max 2,500 to 3,000)

That's a bang up meme for a SF story. Go for it!
2:33 pm on July 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well the data changes, so the sequoias grow and new sequoias get new data.

Or maybe it should be an aspen grove - aspens are clonal so in point of fact, each tree you see above the ground is actually part of the same organism. Some aspen groves are thought to compare with slime molds as the largest organisms on earth by mass. Of course, despite the size of the organism, it's the amount of genetic diversity that is encoded that matters, which makes slime mold a bad storage medium compared to non-clonal species.
8:31 pm on July 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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All to be threatened by (GASP!) Global Warming. :-)