The operating system code recorded in the DNA molecule


2017-03-07 20:00:06




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In connection with the development of technology and the increasing amount of data, professionals are looking for new ways of storing information. And recently a group of scientists from Columbia University and the new York Genome Center have demonstrated a new algorithm for compression of information, allowing her to pack a sequence of four base DNA bases. It is noteworthy that this method is a modified algorithm, originally designed for video compression for mobile phones.

Scientists have found that DNA molecules are an excellent medium of information due to the compactness and the fact that they can remain is not damaged for a long time. For example, recently managed to recover a genome from the remains of the person age of 430 million years. Thus, even lost part of the information encoded in DNA, can be returned.

For the procedure of encoding the sequence of the DNA molecule, scientists have selected several files: code for a simple operating system, a short French film, 1895, image Amazon gift cards, the messages of humanity, sent aboard the Pioneer spacecraft, and the text of one of the scientific papers of Claude Shannon. All these files were collected into one big, which is using a special algorithm, was cut into many short, and then the portions of the files were processed to convert from a binary data code corresponding to the sequence of the four bases of the DNA molecule. Plus, the algorithm modifies the file and reverse conversion. The result of all these actions get the list of the 72 000 DNA strands, each of which consisted of 200 base pairs. Based on these data, the experts of Twist Bioscience synthesized artificial DNA strand. The restore files were using the conventional technology of reading of the sequence of the DNA chain. The restored files do not contain errors and the operating system even managed to successfully install. This compression method, and information storage allows you to pack 215 petabytes of data in DNA molecules weighing just 1 gram.

«We believe that we have managed to create the storage device having the highest value of density information storage. Maximum capacity for a single base of DNA is two binary bits. However, the need of inclusion in the DNA plus the information needed for data recovery, reduces information capacity of one base to 1.6 discharge, which is 60 percent more than was achieved by other methods, and very close to the theoretical upper limit of 1.8 bits per base».

Despite the extremely positive results, at the moment, the main obstacle to the use of DNA to record information is the high cost of the procedure of recording and reading. Scientists have spent $ 7,000 for the synthesis of DNA records and $ 2,000 for their decryption.


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