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Columbia University Researchers Successfully Store ‘Data’ Inside DNA of Living Bacteria

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New York NY, A team led by Columbia University ’s Harris Wang has been working on doing just this for the last couple of years. Most recently, the team managed to electrically encode 72 bits of data to write the string of letters “Hello world!” into a population of bacterial cells.

DNA has been the major information storage medium for biology and holds great promise as the next-generation high-density data medium in the digital era. At present, the vast majority of DNA-based data storage approaches rely on in vitro DNA synthesis. Thus, there are limited techniques to encode digital data into the chromosomes of living cells in a single step.

Researchers at Columbia University have pushed the idea much further, by writing data into the DNA of living bacteria, according to Science reports.

The researchers used CRISPR, the popular gene-editing technique that can splice and edit new sequences into DNA, to store data in these active genes.

“This work establishes a direct digital-to-biological data storage framework and advances our capacity for information exchange between silicon- and carbon-based entities,” the team writes in their paper published this week in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.


One thought on “Columbia University Researchers Successfully Store ‘Data’ Inside DNA of Living Bacteria

  1. sounds a little pre-war Germany to me…

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