Microsoft “DNA Drive” Can Encode Information onto DNA and Back Again
Microsoft has created the first ever “DNA drive”, a program which can encode digital information into DNA and vice versa. When finalised, the program could be set up on a photocopier-sized machine and may entirely replace data centres by storing information in DNA strands. As such warehouse-sized amounts of digital information could be fitted into an area the size of a set of Yahtzee dice on DNA.
The device uses glass bottles of chemicals to build DNA strands, and an Oxford Nanopore sequencing machine to read them out again. The prototype managed to store and hold only the word “hello”, taking 21 hours to complete the process due to the slow chemical reactions which writing DNA involves.