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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."
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