Science

Scientists installed operating system on DNA

The hard drive of the future may prove the molecule of life itself. As humanity will soon be difficult to find enough hard drives and other artificial storage media for all this vast amount of information which it generates and distributes, some scientists believe they can emulate nature and use the same source where the information of life is stored: the DNA. Attempting storage of digital data on DNA began in 2012, but had not made much progress so far. Now, US researchers reported that they developed a new information coding technique, which effectively converts the digital DNA in biological DNA, which can -with a specific program; be converted back into a digital DNA and without any mistakes.

Their new method allowed for the first time to squeeze (a master file) and then store in the molecule of life six digital files: a computer operating system, a short French film of 1895, one Amazon gift card  worth $ 50, a computer virus , one Pioneer plaque and  a study of 1948 by the “father” of the theory of informations  Claude Shannon. Storing large amounts of data is obtained thanks to an algorithm (DNA fountain), originally designed for the transmission (streaming) video on mobile phones. The algorithm, with appropriate modification, converts the digital data (“0” and “1” of binary computer system) to biological data (the four bases-nucleotides A, G, C and T of the DNA molecule). It can thus be “unlocked” the huge storage capacity of the double helix of life compressing much more information.

DNA, except of the huge storage “space”, it may take hundreds of thousands of years, if kept in a cool dry place, as confirmed by the recent discovery of the genetic material in the bones of a skeleton age 430,000 years, which had been kept in a Spanish cave.