Shakespeare, Thou Art Stored in DNA
The stuff weâ€™re made of may be the means by which we store information that we want kept around long after we’re gone. Scientists have developed a technique of storing information in DNA, the molecule found in living creatures including humans that contains genetic instructions. The experiment is discussed in a new study in the journal Nature. Researchers aren’t using DNA from any living organism, or one that was once alive; instead, they are synthesizing it. As long as the DNA is kept cold, dry and dark, it will last for a long time.
â€œThere must be some point in time when itâ€™s cheaper to store information for that length of time as DNA than as something that requires electricity or some other maintenance cost to keep it around,â€ said geneticist Ewan Birney, senior author of the study. Birney and colleagues did the math, and found that although DNA storage is expensive, it’s more cost-effective than other methods if you want to preserve a digital file for somewhere between 600 and 5,000 years.