Book encoded on DNA strands

August 22, 2012 - 

Scientists have found a way of using DNA to publish a book. A whole book was encoded into DNA nucleotides which makes it the largest amount of information stored in a biological substance. One of the key attributes that motivated the scientists to encode a book on DNA was its durability. DNA structures do not change easily over time and can be stored for thousands of years.

The book is composed of more than 50,000 words, 11 images and pictures and one full computer program. The scientists who undertook the project were led by George Church of Harvard Medical School.

The digital version of the book was encoded into DNA strands and is 0.7 megabytes in total size. No specialized technology was used to encode the book, and the amount of data that the book’s DNA strands are capable of holding surpasses advanced flash media devices, since the data modeling is three-dimensional by nature. Most data storage techniques are only two-dimensional.

As of the moment, those who spearheaded the research are not keen on mainstreaming the DNA data encoding. This is due to the fact that the technology used in this research is quite expensive. The amount of time also needed to encode every single detail of a book takes a few months. Scientists involved in the project, however, do think that this kind of technology could prove to be especially useful in archiving important, historical documents that need to be preserved for centuries.

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About Arizona Mosley

Arizona Mosley writes full time for She is currently completing her Master's Degree in Public Governance at West Visayas State University. Follow her @Arizonamosley.