Microsoft introduced an automated DNA data storage system that could one day replace optical storage systems such as Facebook's Blue-ray cold storage.
Microsoft believes that synthetic DNA could be the next big step in long-term data storage, since only one gram of DNA is capable of storing 215 petabytes data for 2.000 years. If released publicly, technology could significantly reduce the space required to store the rising world data.
Microsoft researchers, Microsoft founder Paul Allen and the school of computing science at the University of Washington have been able to build a complex system to create the world's first automated DNA storage device.
Using a first DNA proof-of-concept storage device, the researchers demonstrated the ability to write and read by encoding the word 'hello' in DNA fragments.
The bench-top unit costs about 10.000 dollars but researchers believe it could be built at a third of the cost by removing sensors and actuators.
Η unit, described in Nature, consists of computers with coding and decoding software that translate aces and zeros into four DNA bases: A, C, T, G. There is also a DNA synthesis unit and a DNA preparation unit, among which there is the space the DNA is stored.
"Our main goal is to bring a system to production, which in the end user, will be very similar to any other cloud storage service. The bits will be sent to a data center and stored. Then they will appear again only when the client wants it "said Karin Strauss, researcher of the project.
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