Genetic memory

The stuff of genes can be used to store digital data, too

By Stephen Ornes, 14:55 PM February 8, 2013


A DNA molecule looks like a twisted ladder. Scientists have found a way to use the rungs of that ladder to store data efficiently. Credit: NHGRI

DNA can be found in nearly every cell of every living thing. The molecule is a chemical blueprint that effectively instructs cells on how to work. If holding the “blueprint of life” isn't impressive enough, consider this: Scientists have now shown that DNA also offers a good way to store data.


The new work is “genuinely exciting,” says Drew Endy. He’s a biologist and engineer at Stanford University who did not work on the study.


In the Jan. 23 issue of the journal Nature, European researcher...

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