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Jun 14, 2019

Microsoft Is Building an All-In-One DNA Data Storage Device

Posted by in categories: computing, genetics

The modern world is facing a tsunami of data. DNA is emerging as an ultra-compact way of storing it all, and now researchers supported by Microsoft have created the first system that can automatically translate digital information into genetic code and retrieve it again.

In 2018 we created 33 zettabytes (ZB)—33 trillion gigabytes—of data, according to analysts at IDC, and they predict that by 2025 that figure will rise to 175 ZB. It’s been estimated that if we were to store all our information in flash drives, by 2040 it would require 10 to 100 times the global supply of chip-grade silicon.

DNA, on the other hand, is so compact it could shrink a data center to the size of a few dice. But for that to become practical we need a DNA-based equivalent of a hard drive that lets you upload and download data in a simple and intuitive way.

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