Gallery: Harvard Stores 70 Billion Books in Record Breaking DNA Bio-Lib...


A team from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has discovered a way to store 70 billion books in a space the size of your thumbnail! Using next-generation sequencing technology, the team managed to encode the library in DNA, shattering the record for DNA data by a factor of 1,000. Harvard geneticist George Church picked his own forthcoming book, Regenesis, as a test subject and stored it 70 billion times.

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  1. Donna Fernstrom October 27, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Now we just have to figure out how to insert it harmlessly into our genome…

  2. bthinker August 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    That’s awesome.

  3. GreatEmerald August 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Well, that would be a good alternative to DVDs.

    Also, interesting how DNAs work in a quaternary numerical system, and use a byte size of three quats, as opposed to current computers which use a binary numerical system and a byte size of 8 bits. So, DNA bytes (triplets) can store 4^3=64 values, while current computer bytes (octets) store 2^8=256 values.

    Transcoding a binary octet stream to a quaternary triplet stream probably takes a bit of time. Although I suppose that for storage purposes, a quaternary quartet stream could do as well, and be a bit faster.

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